Saturday, October 29, 2011

Why 4yrs old is the BEST age...

I don't know what it is about Fall but as soon as it arrives, I always feel this sudden urgency to get in as many long walks and bike rides as possible...Maybe it's knowing the holidays are quickly approaching so it's like a mad dash to get in as much exercise as possible before gaining a billion pounds the last 2 months of the year from all that irresistible holiday food (curse you carbohydrates! LOL)....But at any rate, while Andy was off track for 4 weeks we have enjoyed such a fun time on our walks every morning.

Can I tell you something amazing? My 4yr old is a child that has struggled grasping the concept of peddling a bicycle. We have tried and tried to get him to understand how to do it, walked along with him pushing down his feet peddling for him, but nothing. As you can imagine, it has been a pretty frustrating last 2yrs with him wanting to do it, but not grasping the concept, especially since Andy learned how to ride WITHOUT training wheels at 4yrs old. Well guess what folks?


We FINALLY have Luke peddling...There might possibly have been a couple tears shed in shear excitement on his behalf. What can I say, it was a very momentous event for our family.  haha!  :)

So once he got the hang of peddling I tried to get him to go faster. He ignored me and kept going along at his slow pace around the loop. Then after hounding him several times to try peddling faster he gave me one of those crusty looks and a big lecture about how I always taught him that he needs to be safe and going fast isn't safe. Oh how I love this child of mine!

Four years old is such a great age isn't it? Like the other day when the kids were in the backseat repeatedly asking me, "Did you know.....?"  "Did you know.....?" Finally after about 20 questions I said, "Andy, I know everything so you don't need to ask me anymore, ok." Andrew, being the 6 almost 7 year old that he is exclaimed that no, I didn't actually know EVERYTHING! But sweet Luke stuck up for me all the way folks! He quickly yelled over to Andy, "Andy, YES she does! All Mommy's know EVERYTHING!" So true Luke, SO TRUE! And you have my permission to stay 4yrs old for the rest of your life so you don't forget that.  LOL!


He may be slow at peddling, but boy does he have some A+ somersault skills!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011 by wiwik · 0

When Life gets in the way of crafting....And a cute Haunted House Picture Craft

If you hadn't noticed, I haven't been my crafty self this week. I have all these big plans for crafts, but every day something has got in the way. Don't you hate it when that happens? I've been feeling so disorganized lately, and truth be told, I AM DISORGANIZED! Seriously, not only would I die from embarrassment if I showed you my craft supply closet and how disastrous it is, but I'm certain you would faint from the site of it. And PLEASE, whatever you do, do not let my husband open that closet....He will be MORTIFIED!! hahaha! I am behind on the laundry, the dishes are never done, and I am LONG overdue for vacuuming this house of mine!

I had big plans for doing this really cute acorn craft the other day and then I realized the acorns I was going to use had never been taken out of the Ziploc baggy since we brought them home with us from our trip to Grandma's house a couple weeks ago and mold set it on them...Bummer! So I figured I could just improvise and figure out how to still do the craft...That was until I was completely side tracked yesterday from someone bashing in my driver's side window at 4a.m. and stealing my GPS out of my car. I'm sure my neighbors were delighted at the sound of my car alarm that went off for knows how long before I finally woke up and realized it was my car making that sound. As if it wasn't scary enough, my husband happened to be on graveyard shift and wasn't home....No fun!!

So after dealing with paying for a new window yesterday, having unsettling feelings about my family's safety, getting the garage back in order so I could park in it (we have had an unfinished project taking up too much space in there), and maybe one or two swear words (hey, just being honest! It was only Dammit, nothing worse!), I decided the only thing that could possibly return some sunshine back in my life was staying up past bedtime making these adorable haunted house pictures I saw at Crafts and Things for Children which they found HERE. As I've already explained in the past, I am that crazy Mother who will slide on the bedtime rule (on weekends or when off track from school) in order to get some fun crafting in. Some may think I'm ridiculous but my kids sure seemed to think I was the coolest Mom in the Universe last night, so whatever! hahaha!

And they turned out so dang cute...You totally need to do this with your kids!



They were occupied for a good hour drawing in all the details in the windows and around the haunted house. Luke made sure not to miss a single square inch of drawing something on his paper and I absolutely love that about him! Here are some close-ups of his crazy alien monster and some of the ghosts and goblin creatures in the windows. And aside from all the monsters, he has so many spiders crawling off that house that I wouldn't dare step one foot towards it.  :)



And Andrew made sure to include at least one of every scary thing he could think of related to Halloween to make his picture just perfect (and to me, it is perfect!). He even included lightning bolts in the sky.



His witches are my favorite.  Here is the one in the window in the tallest tower and below is the one flying on her broomstick in front of the moon.



So what have I learned after yesterday? What it boils down to, is that when you're having a bad day the best medicine is to forget about yourself and how crappy you are feeling, and do something fun for your kids. It will surely bring a smile back to your face.

Happy Crafting!!

Linking up to THESE great parties!

by wiwik · 0

Friday, October 28, 2011

Slap the Ghost Game (Addition Practice)


Have you heard of this game before?? We had so much fun playing it the other night! Andy brought it home from school and was supposed to play it 4 times this week for homework but of course it was so much fun that we played it about a billion times. The game is designed to be played with 2 or 3 players.

Materials:
-Ghost Cards (I decided to make my own Template so I could share it, found HERE or HERE)
-Pair of Dice
-Beans or small candies such as skittles, smarties, M&Ms

Directions:
1. Cut the ghost cards out and spread them out so that all players can reach them.

2. Take turns shaking the dice. Once the dice are rolled, add the two dice together.

3. Slap the ghost with the correct number. The player that slaps the correct ghost first gets a bean (or treat).

4. The person with the most beans (or treats) at the end of the game wins. I guess you can determine how many times the dice is rolled before the game is over. We did 15 rolls each game.

Since Andy is obviously more advanced than Luke in addition since they are 2 yrs apart, we played rounds where we were extra slow so Luke could make sure to win. Plus, to make it even more fair, we decided it didn't matter who won the most because at the end of the game, I divided up all the treats and gave each child an equal amount.

For preschool age children, you could also just use one dice and only 6 cards. If I played this with Luke myself, that is how I would do it.

Happy Crafting!!

Linking this Post to THESE Great Parties!

Friday, October 28, 2011 by wiwik · 0

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's Time to Mingle!!

I am so excited to be a new co-host in the Mingle With Us weekly Blog Hop! I have followed and adored all of the co-host blogs since I started I Heart Crafty Things so I feel so lucky to have been asked to join in. Come make new friends by linking up every Thursday!!

It's Time to Mingle!

Hosted by Happy Go Lucky, I Heart Crafty Things, Joy in the Jumble and Keeping Up With Kristi.
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is
Auntie Kara's Crafts

There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.   We always follow back!!

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others.  There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
 


 
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 by wiwik · 0

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dear Daughter,

Sometimes you drive me a little crazy....


Like when we were at Grandma's house last weekend and you insisted on picking up every rotten apple and pear in the backyard, sampling them, and then running away from me like Speedy Gonzalez when I'd see what you were up to. But you're just so cute, how could I possibly get mad at you??


Or like the other day when I accidentally left my bathroom door open and you walked out and handed me a present....A Maxi Pad. And then after saying "Thank you" for the present, I walked into the bathroom to find an entire box of Tampons scattered all over the bathroom floor....Sigh...


I especially love how when I sit you down with your brothers to get a cute sibling photo you instantly plan out your escape route and end up smacking Luke in the face in the process of making your getaway....


And I will never understand why you think it's acceptable to eat anything and everything you come in contact with, even a piece of straw. Why Luke decided to feed it to you is another story....

You have eaten so many Dandelions in the last couple weeks on our morning walks that I'm surprised you haven't turned into a Dandelion, and don't even get me started on how many handfuls of potting soil you consumed last weekend while at Grandma's house....OMG, it was out of control!


I often wonder why in the World it is such a big deal to you if I put a barrette in your hair to hold back those curls. Can you possibly humor me by letting it stay in your hair for more than 3 minutes before ripping it out? And why do you refuse to wear all the billion cute, trendy headbands that I bought for you before you were born? They are so very lonely sitting in your top drawer collecting dust.

I used to have this hidden hope that I would wake up in the morning and you would have overnight grown up a little and learned how to slow down....But then the other day after I got you all dressed Andy said, "She looks like a teenager Mommy."


I felt my heart jump out of my chest the instant Andy uttered those words...t-e-e-n-a-g-e-r...And reality suddenly hit me...

I can take every disgusted look you give me after placing you in the stroller against your will...


I can handle every unsuccessful sibling shot in which you are preparing your getaway instead of smiling...


After all, for every failed sibling shot I get, I get a hundred darling individual shots...



I can learn to accept the fact that you love the taste of dirt and weeds. REALLY, I can learn to live with this! I can even learn to love that you enjoy dumping tampons all over my bathroom floor. Heck, throw them all you want little girl!....But please, Please, PLEASE, don't let me wake up in the morning to find a teenage Lila asking me how to use one. PLEASE stay my little Lila for as long as possible! Please drive me crazy all you want! Please continue to make me smile every time you say "Uh-oh!" or point your finger in the air and say "No no no no no!" or touch the doggy in your Feel and Learn Book and say "tickle tickle tickle"....Please take as much time as you want to grow out of bending over and looking between your legs and saying "Peekaboo"...Really, take all the time you want!


Because as much as you drive me crazy, you also make every moment of my life a happier one!


When I sing the words to that song every night rocking you in my arms....You are my Sunshine....I mean it...I REALLY mean it! And as a side note, I know you will drive me even more crazy when you are a teenager thus my reasoning behind me wanting you to stay little for your whole life, but even then, EVEN THEN, you will still be my sunshine!

Love,
Mom

Saturday, October 22, 2011 by wiwik · 0

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Candy Corn Inspired Lunch

When we were visiting family last weekend I opened up an old Magazine on my Mother-in-law's table and saw the cutest idea for a candy corn inspired quesadilla. I didn't even catch the name of the Magazine or read the directions, I was just skimming through and saw a picture of it and fell in love. I decided to make my version of them for the kids today for lunch and I think they turned out cute!


What you will need:
-tortillas
-cheese
-doritos
-sour cream
-cheese dip
-2 sandwich baggies

1. First,  simply make a quesadilla using 2 tortillas. Basically, don't fold 1 tortilla in half to make the quesadilla, but make one huge quesadilla with 2 tortillas. We added diced chicken to ours which was left over from dinner last night. I thought it would have been fun to add some salsa and black beans to the chicken mixture but I didn't think about it until after we were done (darn!).

2. When your quesadilla is all finished cooking, put it on a plate to decorate it into a candy corn. I started by spreading a thin layer of cheese dip all over the quesadilla. This is the kind I used and I heated it up in the microwave before spreading it on.


3. Next place a dollop of sour cream in a sandwich bag, close the bag releasing all the air first, and then make a cut in one of the bottom corners so you can pipe out your sour cream onto your quessadilla. Squeeze out the sour cream forming a circle in the center of the quesadilla and fill it in entirely.

4. Place a handful of Doritos in a sandwich bag and have your kids enjoy crunching them up. Then very carefully add a circle of Doritos around the sour cream. The cheese dip makes the Doritos stay in place. This is what our quesadilla looked like before I cut it.


5. Now just cut your quesadilla into pieces. I cut mine in half, then cut each half into 3 sections.



I didn't tell the boys what I was making the entire time but they watched the whole process and kept trying to guess what on earth it was. They were excited once they saw it all cut up and gobbled it right up. I served mine with a side of fresh fruit.


Happy Crafting!!

Linking up to THESE great parties!

Thursday, October 20, 2011 by wiwik · 0

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Art

To go along with our trip to the pumpkin patch we made some fun pumpkin patch art using a toilet paper roll to stamp on our pumpkins. I have been really excited about this art project, especially to see how unique every one's picture turned out, and the boys really enjoyed it because we used some new painting techniques we haven't used before.

Andy's Pumpkin Patch

Luke's Pumpkin Patch

My Pumpkin Patch (Yes, my page got bumped on the table while drying...Hate when that happens!)

To make this project we used our trusty tempera paint we received from our friends at Craft Project Ideas. I know I've mentioned this before, but my favorite thing about Kids Crafts Products is that I can pick them at Wal-Mart when I'm doing my grocery shopping and don't have to make a special trip to a craft store. You will definitely want to use tempera paint for this project instead of acrylic because it is more water based and thinner.


We also used an empty toilet paper roll, some gold tempera paint I had left over from our Grandparen'ts Day Awards and a Candy Making plastic bottle that you can pick up at Michael's.


To make your pumpkin patch, start by dipping a toilet paper roll end in orange paint and then onto your white piece of card stock paper. Add as many pumpkins as you'd like all over the page.



Then fill your candy making bottle with some orange paint and use it to make the lines in your pumpkins.


Then squeeze any leftover orange paint back into the original orange paint container and then thoroughly rinse out the candy making bottle. Next we added our gold paint to the candy making bottle to paint on our stems. You can use brown tempera paint, we just didn't have any and I thought the gold would be kind of cool.


After painting on the stems, let your picture dry completely. When the pumpkins are completely dry, add green paint to your candy making bottle and paint on the pumpkin vine. Make sure all the pumpkins are connected to the vine. Then you are done!


I thought this project was really great for a preschooler to learn how to have control over squeezing the paint out of the bottle. You can see how a couple times Luke gobbed a little too much, but over all, he really learned how to control that bottle. I was proud of the little bugger!  :)

I also wanted to mention that Craftprojectideas.com will be giving away a $25 Wal-mart Gift Card to one lucky person at the end of the month. All you have to do to enter is upload a picture of your children's Halloween Art to their Facebook Page or Show and Tell Forum by October 31st for a chance to win. The more crafts you upload, the more you chances you have to win!

Happy Crafting!!

Linking up to THESE great Parties!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 by wiwik · 0

Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

We had such a great getaway visiting my in-law's this weekend and we took our traditional visit to Beck's Farm to the pumpkin patch. It's a farm down in the sticks in central Utah and it is one of my favorite places on Earth. Seriously, it is beautiful! We usually stock up on lots of squash and pumpkin for the Winter and the kids have the time of their life swinging on the swings, exploring the beautiful grounds and of course they have fun going through the straw maze and picking out their very own pumpkin.

I always take a billion pictures, but don't worry, I won't share them all...Only 16 with some commentary added...hahahaha!


This was such a cute scene seeing Daddy push Lila around in the wagon. She certainly has him wrapped around her little finger!

The boys made it through the straw maze several times. There was a big, fake spider in one part that jumped down whenever there was a loud noise. The first time they went through Luke was seriously terrified of it after he saw it jump down. He was stuck in the maze for a while because he didn't want to walk past the spider to find the way out. It was so funny!

Now that is the cutest pumpkin I have ever seen!  :)

Lila LOVES swings! She could have swung on this horse swing for hours if we let her. It is pretty unbelievable to me how fearless Lila is in general, but especially around her Daddy. She trusts him and has no cares in the world around him, even in this tire swing...


I'm not gonna lie, it made me nervous setting Lila off in the swing, but she adored every second of it!


And it was the boys' favorite part of our visit...





Last year we had a family picture in this same spot so we took one again to see how everyone had changed. Lila of course changed the most since last year she was only 10 weeks old when we went.


On the way home we spotted Mater off the side of the road and we couldn't pass up the chance letting the boys meet him in person.


We also stopped for a small excursion to explore the mountains a little. Luke and Lila had fallen asleep so Grandma stayed in the car with them while me, Mark and Andy had a walk around.



I loved the red color of the mountains and the Fall colors were so beautiful on all the surrounding trees.


My sweet Andy always has the BEST smile!


And after all of that, I realized I didn't even get any pictures of the boys with the pumpkins! Hahaha! Oh well! Going down to Central Utah is always so bittersweet for me. We miss living down there. We miss the smell of the fresh air. We miss the canyon breezes that blow in every night. We miss how much more clear the sky and stars are every night. I miss taking long walks to the Manti Temple with the kids. We miss all the sweet people down there and the friends we made. We miss the feeling of small country town living. We still have this longing in our hearts wishing we were able to make it our permanent home. Maybe some day...

by wiwik · 0

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