Friday, March 15, 2013

Christmas Fun

Hey everyone, I've got a lot of catching up to do and a bunch of fun things I wanted to share. This time of year sure seems crazy busy don't you think.? I love it though. This year I'm not doing a lot of running around like I normally do, but I still feel just as busy at home with all the new Christmas traditions I've taken on :). Just trying to create fun memories for the kids. I've been doing a ton of online shopping, so that has helped. I just love Amazon Prime. Can't beat free 2 day shipping. I use it almost daily, which is fun, because that means I get a package at my door step daily. It's like Christmas every afternoon :). I pretty much buy all of my school and craft supplies from them. Sure saves me a lot of time. So anyway I wanted to share a few pictures from our Thanksgiving week before I start into our Christmas fun.
We tried to get a few family pictures in. Sure isn't easy getting a perfect shot. There's always someone thats doing something funny. So I take what I can get :).
Here's a little Thanksgiving snack we made.
We even made pies...
Play doh pies that is.
Look at Oliver, haha. He's in one of his moods. The one where he just cries about EVERYTHING. I love how Brooklyn's looking at him in this picture, like, what's wrong?
They set up a tea party and pretended to eat their pies.
Brooklyn had her birthday last week. We got her this fun baby roller coaster and took her to Planet Play.
Here is a short video I put together for her. It's the highlights of her first year with some music. Just love this girl. Can't believe she's already one.
I made the kids green and red jello with Aurthor Christmas toys inside. I let them dig into it and just play. And let me tell you, they LOVE to get messy. Man, I wish I was more patient. I know kids need to get dirty and make messes. I like to let them do it, but you should see me. I turn into a mad women. I try to hide it of course but don't always succeed. I find myself apologizing a lot at bed time. I also told them we could make sugar cookies from scratch. Then I was reminded why I usually buy the dough pre made from the store and just let them decorate. Wow, that was quite the mess. And I didn't yell once!
Well, maybe a little... okay, I yelled a bunch, oops :). Word of advice to all you moms. The store bought dough is totally worth buying.
We let the kids sleep next to the Christmas tree one night. It actually turned into 3 nights. Somehow the kids kept talking us into it.
We started the Elf on the shelf tradition. The kids are LOVING it!!! So much fun!
I saw this idea on Pinterest. You wrap up 25 different Christmas books and let the kids open one each night until Christmas. Half of them are ones we already had, the other half are from the library and I bought a few new ones. I didn't realize how much of a hit this would be. Lily is begging me each day if she can open one of them. She already knows they are books and she knows which ones they are too because she was the one that picked them out at the library. She even watched me wrap some of them. I ought to figure out another way I can use this idea. Maybe I should wrap up her school work each day... hmmm, now that's an idea.
We made Christmas trees using sugar cones and green frosting (green food coloring in white frosting).
And last but not least. Today we gathered up all of our old rock hard Halloween candy and decided to make art. I just took some store bought frosting and added some corn starch to it to make it more like glue. The kids thought it was great and I solved my pantry mess problem :).
I also wanted to share this picture with you. I posted it a while ago on Facebook but I just LOVE it!
So there you have it. Our last 2 weeks in a nut shell. How about you guys? What kinds of traditions do you do? I'd love to hear about them. Hope you're all having a wonderful Holiday season. Don't forget to slow down a little and enjoy these moments every day. I'm telling this to myself too :).

Pinterest Fail

Aw, the joys of Pinterest. Gorgeous right? Here's how mine turned out...
Not quite. So I found these amazing looking Turkey cake pops on there the other day and I thought I'd give it a try. Here's how mine turned out...
Somewhat similar right???

Pilgrims and Indians

Last week as part of our homeschool we had a little history lesson on Thanksgiving and set up a whole scene. It was fun seeing them act out the story using our little set. Here is a list below of all the items we used to make this.
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Printouts from Making Learning Fun
  • Rocks and sticks we collected from outside
  • Brown spray paint
  • Green brown and blue felt
  • Cardboard from a cereal box
  • White card stock paper
  • Small milk carton cut in half
  • Cake pop stick (for the Mayflower sales), I'm sure a straw would work just fine too
  • Hot glue gun
For the Teepee I just used some cereal box cardboard, rolled it into a cone, stapled it together, then spray painted it with this really cool texture paint we found Home depot a while ago. Then I hot glued some twigs to the top. I just threw in some sparkly pip cleaners and what ever else I could find that shimmered a little :).


Google images

We are faced with choices almost constantly. From what we choose to eat for breakfast to how we choose to spend our time each day. I believe the most important choice we can make is how we choose to react in each circumstance we are dealt, whether good or bad. Because even the bad can be good. Things will go wrong in life, but we have to learn to respond positively and look for the good in every situation. With our recent election, some may be happy with the results and some may be pretty upset. Either way, what's done is done. Now all we can do is hope for the best and try to see the good in the outcome. Everything happens for a reason and God knows whats best, so we can find comfort in that and trust in Him. Now aside from the election. I'm also talking about even the tiniest and seemingly insignificant things. One bad choice can create a negative snowball effect. I've learned after many years of trial and error, we DO choose our lives. We can't sit around in our pity parties. We CAN change our situation. Sometimes it's just a matter of changing our attitudes, or choosing to do something about it. Are you happy with your life? We truly create our own realities. We have the ability to change things. Make our lives better. We CHOOSE it. This is something I didn't really believe for a long time. I thought that things were happening TO me, and that I had no control over my happiness. Little did I know I could make my life anything I wanted it to be. We can't change people unfortunately :), but we can choose not to allow them to steal our joy. As many of you may know, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I grew up in the church but of course there always comes a time when you have to ask yourself, Do I really believe what I've been taught? I think deep down I always believed, but I turned away from it for a few years. Probably because I felt guilty about the choices I was making. The further I was from the church the less guilty I felt. But also the more unhappy I became. My life wasn't turning out the way I had always hoped it would. I had dreams of marrying a trustworthy guy. Someone who loved and served God. I envisioned raising a family and teaching them good values. I wanted SUCCESS. Financial success. Success in marriage, in child rearing, in becoming who I was destined to be. I didn't want to settle for mediocrity. I remember feeling like all was lost and that my life was just going to continue down this road and my dreams would never become a reality. After many years of not speaking to God I decided to simply ask him to help me. I was afraid to ask him for anything because I didn't feel worthy. When I finally began praying to him again I felt his love and forgiveness. He made me realize the most amazing thing... I had the CHOICE! I could choose any kind of life I wanted. As soon as I believed this, I knew that I needed to make some changes, starting with the relationship I was in. I knew it wasn't right for me so I ended it. Then took the long hard road to a better life. Because even though we have the choice, it's not always easy. Anything of value comes with a price. I knew that I needed to BECOME the kind of person I wanted to marry. So I spent a few years working on being that person. I always wanted to marry a returned missionary, so what did I do? I became a returned missionary :). Serving my mission in Germany was probably the best choice I ever made, besides choosing to marry my husband of course. So what I'm trying to say here is, I learned that my choices were what created my life now. I don't believe in luck. I believe that making good choices, allows Gods hand into our lives. He allows us to learn from the choices we make, but promises happiness from making GOOD ones.  

San Diego ~Part Two (Sea World)

Here is part two of our San Diego trip. We spent one of our days at my favorite theme park, Sea World!!! We brought our little helper Andrea with us on this trip. I thought this was our best trip EVER and I think it had a lot to do with having Andrea there to help us with the kids. Theme parks weren't as stressful, Sean and I got to go on lots of runs and bike rides on the beach because we had Andrea there to babysit. We got to go out on little mini dates here and there. She helped me do school with the kids, another benefit of homeschooling, you can do it ANYWHERE, even on vacation :). It was also nice because she could be our photographer, I didn't have to worry too much about capturing the moments with my camera because she was there to do it for us. So basically we got the best of both worlds. We got to have our kids with us, yet Sean and I still got to have some alone time. Best way to vacation I tell ya. The kids learned all kinds of new things at Sea World. They learned about habitats, all different kinds of sea animals, what they eat and how they live. What better way to learn these things than to see it up close and personal.