Toys, toys, so many toys

A child’s toy is a wonderful thing, that is until you step on it in the middle of the night on your way to the bathroom in dark house. My husband used to laugh at me when I would use the flash light app on my phone to light my way across the house to the bathroom, that is until he stepped on a Lego Duplo for the first time. Now I laugh at him and myself when we accidentally step on one of those living room land mines.

“Well why don’t you make your kids clean them up every evening?”  Actually I do but occasionally my 15 month old like to play with a few and leaves them laying about or they are lurking underneath a misplaced blanket or dropped shirt since my boys are still embracing the naked baby stage whenever they are home.  It also doesn’t help that my sweet mother in law bought them 5 yes 5 bags of 98 pieces of an off brand of Lego Duplos for Christmas last year so we have Duplo’s for days over here. If you check out this Blog post, I decoupaged a vintage suitcase for my kids just to hold them all.

So to battle this never ending battle of Duplo’s I won’t be buying any for my children this year mostly because they have so many toys I really don’t want to add to the mayhem that is my playroom/office. Thankfully my children are very good about going through their toys with my a couple times a year and sorting into 3 piles. 1. Keep. 2. Donate. 3. Put away for later and of course the trash pile where broken, missing, stupid toys go. This does help battle the siege of toys but not enough to make me want to buy oodles of toys for nothing other than to collect dust.

The war is never ceasing but I will win this battle of the toys even if it maims me.

~Kristen

How I turned the TV OFF

How do you become the most hated mom during the summer?
Turn the TV OFF.

Yep I said it, turn the TV off. Back in May I made the decision to turn the TV off unless it was
A. Raining
B. Snowing
C. Super Cold Outside
D. Dark.
Those were the guidelines to watching TV in my house and I think I will continue that decision throughout the rest of the year. Will it be hard when I am trying to teach my eldest 5th grade math equations? Yes, because I will be the first to admit I’ve used my TV as a babysitter for my other children, even if it is only 10 feet away from our school desks in the next room in the past. I want to create a learning environment not glued to the TV environment.

What I have found during the last few months about my children;

They have wonderful imaginations, they are creative, they are adventurous and they fight less as well as well as being happier healthier children. It is OK for your children to be bored, it sparks their creativity and imaginations. We have battled boredom with books, spending time at the library, going swimming, to the park, playing on our really long slip’n slide, riding their bikes in the driveway, I may have also suggested weeding the garden is a boredom killer.

Have I stuck to this rule completely? Nope, on occasion there are days we will sit and watch TV all day usually because one of us is sick, we have battled summer colds, the croup and a stomach bug this summer. But like every rule there are exceptions and that is OK too.

Until next time,
~Kristen

 

 

Summer Has Arrived

Oh how I love summer, the warm weather, the ability to wear shorts and blind people with my ghost white legs. Playing in the creek or pool with my children, working in my vegetable and flower gardens, the list could go on and on however my favorite part is not having to shuttle my boys to preschool or teach my soon to be 5th grader for 3 1/2 glorious months.

DSC_0132My beautiful Gracie, just finished up her 4th grade year a few weeks ago. She has grown so much over the last year not just physically but has matured as well. She has been going through a lot of changes recently that includes a diagnoses for epilepsy and starting a treatment program. She has kept the faith and has handled this change with aplomb at least as much as 10 year old can.

 

 

 

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Zane and Jacob just finished up their school year in preschool. Zane was in the Pre-K class while Jacob was in the beginners class.  My husband and I decided that we are going to keep Zane in preschool another year as he will only just be 5 at the start of the next school year. Our thoughts on this that we would rather have a slightly older and more mature Kindergartner thus giving him a better start in his education.

Jacob has grown so much since he started preschool back in January,  he has a slight speech delay that he is growing out of and I believe that it is due to the wonderful teachers at the preschool and maturity.

We are all heartbroken when the news of our head preschool teacher will not be returning to our preschool in the fall due to personal reasons. So our hope is that she will find another position that will fulfill her needs as she goes.

 

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I would be remiss if I didn’t say a small bit about Abby. She turned 11 months old a few days ago and is such a charming baby. At the ripe young age of 9 months she started walking but it wasn’t until she was 10 1/2 months did it happen on a regular basis. She loves her siblings and will gladly go play with Gracie or as Abby calls her Gigi.

 

With that my summer is complete and will be enjoyed by all as we play each day.

 

~Kristen

 

Giving from the Heart

Every year I ponder on what to get the Grandparents for Christmas, this is no easy task. This year however I decided to do homemade gifts from my children to their grandparents, now I did orcastrate it all but I am pretty pleased with how well it turned out.

It all started with my Dad’s birthday in the beginning of November, I usually make him a Key Lime Pie which is one of his favorite desserts and give him a small gift. I wanted to do something akin to the painted hand-prints on a shirt for him, however 2 of his grandchildren live in Alaska and we have tried this before but the package got lost in the mail.

diy-fingerprint-tree-template
OneFabDay.com

So instead I found this tree on Pinterest, I didn’t print it out like it suggested because I wanted to put it on canvas so it would stay sturdy and not get floppy as more finger prints were added since there are currently 13 grandchildren.

Now I am not crafty or artistic when it comes to drawing but I am pretty proud with how well my copy came out. I did this in what I call a free hand trace, basically I had the print out in front of me and I measured the length of the trunk tree with a ruler and drew it in pencil. I then copied over it with a fine point sharpie and added the thin branches after that.

Crafty tree

As you can see it isn’t exactly the same and that is perfectly find with me because every tree is different and none of them look the same. I had the kids use 2 different color rubber stamp ink for their thumb prints. Red for girls and Green for the boys along with writing their name by their thumb print. That way we can add more thumb prints as more grandchildren are added to the family.

 

Now for Christmas I wanted to do my kids handprints in birth order. I started with plain white stretched canvas over a frame and painted it ivory.  Before I applied little handprints to the canvas I did test them out DSC_0272on a plain sheet of paper and I am glad I did. I originally had my oldest son Z-man with green paint and my youngest son Jakie in red paint, however the red paint ate away at the purple that was picked out for my youngest Abby.  So if you do this project definitely try it out on piece of paper before applying.

After painting both canvases ivory I let them sit 24 hours before moving on to the hand print part.

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With the help of my oldest we picked out 4 colors that represent each of the kids.

Gracie picked out aqua/teal for herself and we choose green for Z-man, red for Jakie and purple for Abby. Now as I stated above we had to switch out Z-mans and Jakies colors due to washing out the purple of Abby’s paint.  What I love about this project is that each one is different or what you would call perfectly imperfect and that describes my children to a T, I love them all very much and that they aren’t 12347945_10156304135220503_5567704126001424232_nperfect little children because lets be honest they aren’t perfect and nor will they ever be.
Both boys rolled their hands a bit while making these so it looks like they have 6 fingers instead of 5 again the perfectly imperfect. I wanted to add the children’s names and ages but wasn’t sure how to go about doing that, I had kicked around the idea of using a fine point sharpie to write their names but who would you tell whose hand belongs to who since Z-man and Jakie’s are basically the same size at ages 3 and 4. So my husband suggested that I paint their names with the paint color we used for their hand prints, why I didn’t think of that I have no idea

 

So here are the finished project.

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Gifts for the Littles

My idea of a great Christmas changes yearly. Should the kids get a ton of toys that they will once again break or rarely play with or should I give them somethings more meaningful like books and experiences?

This year it is all about books and things I know they will play with even though their verbal Christmas lists are long and filled with silly toys that are advertised in the paper and on TV. They of course are not getting any of these toys mostly because the toys make noise and I really dislike toys that make noise and require batteries.

So for fun I am going to post my kids Christmas letters to Santa.

“Dear Santa,
For Christmas I would like a 3DS in Pink or Blue. A Super Smash Mario Brothers game for the DS and a new pair of  headphones.
A Bike in purple or teal.
Lego’s or Lego Friends.
The Movie’s Home, Minions and Inside Out.
Love,
Katherine (age 10)
P.S. Oh and a Girl Scout Easy Bake Oven”

“Dear Santa,
For Christmas I would like a Remote Control Fish, a Racetrack and a Miles from Tomorrowland Blanket

Love,
Zane” (age 4)

“Dear Santa,
For Christmas I would like PJ Masks pajama’s, a Paw Patrol Blanket and hot dogs.
Love,
Jacob”  (age 3)

Now if you can’t tell big sister wrote these out for the boys since they can’t spell yet.

May your Christmas wishes be filled and you have a blessed Christmas Season.

~Kristen