Friday, February 25, 2011

Once up on a reader

As much as I love reading bedtime stories to the girls,
its nice to get a little break and have our budding reader to the job.
She is reading like a pro!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sleeping like a baby

I love watching my girls sleep.  So amazingly peaceful.  Here's little Leighton (who is getting way too big for my taste lately), cuddled with her sleeping necessities: blankies and bears.  She is a great sleeper and rarely wakes us up at night (unlike her older sisters who insist on at least one nightly visit).
My sweetest littlest, I want to remember her like this forever.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And we all (Lemi) Shine on.....

Look what came in the mail last week.  My very own box of Lemi Shine samples to pass out.  Apparently Lemi Shine really has their feelers out and read my post on my kitchen's new bffs where I raved about Lemi Shine and its amazing shine powers in the dishwasher.  They contacted me and offered me free samples to spread  the Lemi Shine love to my friends and fam.  So come on over and pick up your free sample!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On Ice

Brooklyn and Ellie have been looking forward to going ice skating for a while now.  I told Brooklyn right off the bat that I simply could not take her though.  I have clear memories of dreading those ice skating birthday parties, hugging "the wall" the entire time, and having a near panic attack when after circling once I had to pass the entrance to the ice where there was a break in the wall for 3 feet and there was nothing left for me to hang on to.  She would have to go with a much more coordinated person than I...insert Aunt Heather (one of the only people I know that has mastered the roller blade).  All was going well until Ellie and Brett crashed on their second go around and Ellie ended up with this:

several hours in the ER and 5 stitches.  
But look at that smile- what a trooper (and calm and collected Dad handled the whole thing himself!)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Your milk will love this...

Everything I've tried that she has recommended has been amazing.  Here's another...brownie covered oreos.  Sounds like something they'd be selling at the County Fair right?  Try them, you will love...the slight crunch, the cream filling, it is a whole new twist on a brownie.  And since everyone loves brownies and milk and oreos and milk, its a genius combination. Some tips...use double stuff oreos, make 24 with 1 box of brownie mix, just put the leftover batter on top of each one until its gone (this makes them nice and thick).  Don't overcook them or you will loose that chewiness brownies must have- 12 minutes, maybe only a couple more.  Now get a glass of the tall white stuff and enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Raggedy, Ellie, and Me

I love the time I get to spend with each of my girls individually.  It is so special to connect with just one girl, undistracted by an older more talkative one, or a younger more demanding one.  Nap time stories have been this special one-on-one time for Ellie and me.  As a part of my classic girly book collection, I picked up Raggedy Ann Stories from the thrift store and we have been sharing a story each afternoon before naps.  Just the two of us, no one else.  We are the only ones who know how Raggedy was almost lost when she got tied to a kite, and how she got re-stuffed with a candy heart inside, and how she was always kind and loving even when the other dolls were not.  Cuddling next to Ellie on her tiny toddler bed, Raggedy Ann under her arm, thumb in her mouth on a quiet very special.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

the many faces of ellie

I just love that thumb-suckin' grin!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kindergarten: then and now

Let's see how many similarities you can find.  
Beside the obvious one... our fashion sense: mad about plaid!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

crafting lately

The actual expression of my craftiness comes and goes in seasons.  I usually always have an idea (or ten) buzzing around in my head but with so may other pressing things on my plate (for instance, 2 of 3 girls with pink eye today), I rarely have time to get them out.  But when I get started... somebody stop me!  Its like a crafting cyclone.  I craft up a storm, and my sewing room (and the rest of the house lots of times) looks like its been hit by a tornado.  So here's some of the latest storm that's been brewing...

My chalk board now bears the fruits of the spirit (I wish all I had to do was pin some flags on myself to do the same!).  Oh to have more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

 And another reminder to LOVE...inspired by this.

Hanging together in the entryway (can you really call it that if its in the center of a room?) with a lovely letter "S"- made from some scrap wood, full page sticky label and spray paint.  And let me warn you we are still in the eye of the storm...more to come.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Little Momma

It is amazing to see Leighton instinctively care for her dolls. 
She holds them close, pats them, and even tries to sing to them.  
And all this after only 13 months.
I think she's made to be a momma.
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tea time?

What little girl doesn't love a tea party- 
or at least love eating the sugar right out of the sugar bowl?
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

A box of chocolates...

I wanted to give my girls a little something special for Valentine's Day.  Nothing expensive... something thoughtful... nothing that would add to the stuffed animal/toy clutter that is currently driving me mad...maybe something yummy...but a small something yummy...definitely not a pound of conversation hearts.  Anyway, I was at Walmart in the Val's Day section and saw some cute heart candy boxes for kiddos that were $3, 
and then some not so cute ones that were only $1.   

 So here they are, the cutest $1 ones I could find.  But wait...

with a little creativity, some scrapbook supplies of yesteryear, and a lot of love, they've got a one of a kind personalized heart box of chocolates (don't worry there's only 4 pieces inside).  So its decided, each year my new tradition for the girls is to make them a special valentine's box of chocolates.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Estate Sale

I have never been to an estate sale before today.  The thought of it has always intrigued me though.  I am a naturally nosy curious person, so rummaging through every detail of a stranger's life sounds like my kind of fun.  Well today was the day.  I actually got Brett to go with me (I told him the Craig's list listing said they had tube amplifiers and he was in) and we also brought the girls (who were amazing for the entire hour and a half we were there).  It turned out to be the perfect blend of several of Brett's and my interests (thus the hour and a half).  This guy was a collector let me tell you.  I poured over the old cameras and books, Brett spent his time picking though boxes of tools and electronic stuff and the girls had their eyes glued to his viewfinder collection (which did include Michael Jackson's Thriller!).

I have to say it was fun, exciting, weird, and sad to be there though.  Of course I was stoked about my bag of treasures (which somehow only cost $25 for the whole thing!).  But the whole time I was going room by room realizing a real person lived here, amassed all this stuff in his 80 or so years of life, and now he was gone.  His bar of soap and shampoo still in the shower, his shoes still on the floor, his eyeglasses still on the dresser and his alarm clock still set.  And now all the things he treasured, that brought him joy and happiness in life were plastered with orange price tags and being taken home by strangers who bartered down the price by half.

A real reminder that I need to be building my treasure in heaven;
using my time an resources to invest in the things that really last.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Straw-ba-ba-ba-ba Berry Shortcake

Almost 30 years ago a little girl celebrated her 6th birthday Strawberry Shortcake style 
(look at the adoration of the cake!)...  

Brooklyn knew she wanted to have a Strawberry Shortcake party like mommy practically the day after her birthday last year.  12 little girls invaded the house dressed in pajamas for 2 jam packed hours of beading, coloring, tattooing, eating, playing, screaming and seriously thrashing the girls room.  And Grandma deserves all the praise for creating Brooklyn's favorite party of the party...the cake.   It had been three decades since the last one, but leave it to grandma to pull it off again.  So what will it be next year Brooklyn? (I don't think Holly Hobby party favors will be as easy to find...)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

We love CCA

Things I love about CCA (Brooklyn's school):

1.  takes less than 5 minutes to get from our garage to the drop off/pick up line
2.  plenty of family around to check up on Brooklyn (like Dad and Papa)
3.  teachers who love the kids and love Jesus
4.  prayer, bible study, and weekly bible verses are standard in every classroom
5.  uniforms, uniforms, uniforms! 

What Brooklyn loves about CCA:

Not really what I expected her to write 
but at least she didn't write that she loved the cheerleaders like her friend did.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

little curl

There was a little girl
who had a little curl
right in the middle  
of her forehead  back head.
And when she was good
She was very very good
And when she was bad 
she was horrid still the cutest thing ever!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Adoring Aunties

A sweet baby girl is about to be born, and she has 6 aunties who adore her already.   The showers have been thrown, the crib is ready, now we're just waiting for her arrival.  When she comes home to her adorable nursery, she will see her name, chosen especially for her, and the loving notes reminding her of the 6 ladies that love her and her momma so much. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wanna lick?

For Brooklyn's birthday we decided to do ice cream cone cupcakes to bring in to her class.  I have wanted to try this for a while and thought kindergartners would get a kick out of it.  
I read that there were three basic ways to make them:
1.  Bake cupcakes in liners, remove the cupcakes and press them into the top of the cone, then frost.  To avoid the top heavy problem, fill the cone with candy before putting the cupcake on top.  Check out this video.
2.  Pour batter in the liner (like regular cupcakes), but before baking, invert a cone on the top.
3.  Bake the cupcake batter in the cone, then frost when cooled.
#1 looked the coolest and had the candy surprise in the cone, but I thought it might send the kids into sugar overload.  #2 seemed a bit strange so I opted for #3, which I actually would do again, but with minor adjustments.The first being, not to fill the cones so much.  Here's what I did...

You really need about 1/2 that much batter.  Lots oozed over, got gooey, and had to be thrown away.  Secondly, I would use homemade frosting and a large holed pastry bag to give the soft serve effect on the top.  I did like the sprinkles and the gumball though- cute right?  It took all that was in me to not throw them all in the trash and start over (actually it just took Brett saying-don't you dare remake those).  So I had to put my perfectionistic tendencies aside and remember they were for 5 and 6 year-olds who could care less, and go with it.  A good lesson for me.  And don't even ask me how I transported them.....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Kitchen's New BFFs

If money was not an issue, I would have thrown out my pots, glasses, silverware, and dishes and gotten all new ones- and replaced my dishwasher while I was at it .  I have had this crazy soapy/hard water/mineral deposit thing going on with all the dishes I put in the dishwasher.  And after having friends over for dinner last week (which unfortunately seems to be a rarity these days) and realizing what I was giving them to drink out of, I knew something had to be done. Since a complete kitchen purge was not an option, I had to hit up the cleaning isle at Von's and see what I could do on my own.  Let me tell you, I was beyond skeptical when I saw this:

Seriously, Lemi Shine?  But the picture convinced me and I gave it a go.  
Let me tell you, a miracle happened in that dishwasher I was ready to put on the curb. 

 Before: grimy, powdery, sick.  Would you want to drink out of this?

 And After: beyond crystal clear- now that's what I'm talking about.  
Every glass, sippee cup, dish, fork, spoon and knife, clean as the day it was borned!

And while I was in the cleaning isle at Von's 
I thought I'd pick up some of this that I'd heard so many raving about:

Once again, another miracle


 After:  I have no words.  I'll let the shine speak for itself.
Except... please wear gloves if you use this!
It my be my kitchen's new BFF, but its not friends with my hands- call me sandpaper for knuckles.

So now I can proudly have anyone over for dinner 
and it is a pure pleasure unloading my new set of dishes out of the dishwasher.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The bins

One of the most cost efficient things about having 3 girls is the recycling of clothes.  Since Brooklyn was born, I have been saving her clothes for potential sisters down the line.  Bins upon bins all labeled by size and season have filled our closets, been stuffed under the bed, and kept high above our heads in the attic. I would have never guessed when packing away those pink onesies that they would be used by 2 more girlies and never be replaced by blue ones.   So this weekend was "out with the old, in with the less old"  for Leighton.  Now at the ages the girls are at now, its kind of cool to get your sisters old clothes (that is if you can get her to admit they really are too small and she shouldn't be wearing them anymore), but I'm sure our time is ticking with this method and the day will soon come when poor Ellie and Leighton realize they have no new clothes to speak of.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Bday Sixlet!

Six years ago today, I first laid eyes on a little person who would completely change my world.  I am so blessed to have her in my life and to be her mom.  Happy birthday Brooklyn!

 original birth day

1st birthday

2nd birthday

3rd birthday

 4th birthday

 5th birthday

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sample this

Last night my good friend Eli came over for dinner with her family.  Not only did I ruin my lo-carb plan with dinner...lasagne, I killed it with dessert.  She brought over 5 amazing pasty desserts form a local bakery and we made a sampler platter for each of us.  Strawberry shortcake, tirimisu, carmel pecan torte, cream puff, and some other floofy, yummy cookie thing.  All super delicious.

Three of us finished them all off.  Eli blamed inability to finish hers on her second helping of lasagna.  I was shocked because this is a girl who loves sweets as much as I do.  Although she may be turning over a new leaf considering she was up at 5 that morning for spin class-that is after sleeping in her workout clothes so she had no excuse but to get up and get moving- dare I try it?