Easter Afternoon with Family

April 21, 2014 at 10:52 pm (Family, Personal)

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I finally got a few minutes while the kids were out playing after dinner to get the pictures from yesterday downloaded.  Here are a few highlights from our family Easter gathering…

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Here are the kids at our house Easter morning as we headed out to church.  I love these outfits we found at KMart!  The kids look so adorable!

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Then we went up to my parents’ house, where they had a wonderful display of Easter baskets for the kiddos.  The cross cards were ones that I made with the kids.

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A close up of the baskets for my son and daughter.  My parents always take such care to get each of their grandkids something that’s special to them.  My daughter’s basket is Sofia the First, and my son got Thomas, of course!

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Egg scouting and playing with dear cousin abounded before the big egg hunt!

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And then they were off…

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Eggs were all over the front and back yard!

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Counting the spoils…

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With Uncle Bobby…

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Then we got some fun pictures of my mom, grandma, and uncle together and with the kiddos.  The dress my mom is wearing is the one I made for her birthday back in November!  It looks so beautiful on her…great color!

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Then it was inside for dinner and dessert!  I made a sugar cookie butterfly topped with strawberry cream cheese and yummy fruit…

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Here are some crochet bunny Peeps I made for the kids, too…

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For my son, this was a fun day to spend with my dad…the kids call him Popple.  They played in the fun tent my dad has set up in the basement and even played some piano together!  Colton had to teach Popple how to play a little bit!

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So thankful for the blessing of spending time with family!

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Easter Reflections

April 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm (Faith, Personal)

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I hope everyone had a very blessed Easter!  I know we did!  With all of the wonderful things about Easter – the cute kids, fun activities, beautiful spring weather and family gatherings – sometimes I just need to take a moment after the fact and remind myself why we celebrate this holiday each year.  For Christians, this is the most important time.  Yes, the birth of the Messiah is undeniably important, but it’s the three days represented by the period from Good Friday to Easter Sunday that make or break our faith.  Very few people deny that Jesus was a real man who walked this earth.  But so many won’t believe that He shed His perfect blood to cover the forgiveness of all of our sins.  From His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane to His unimaginable crucifixion, Jesus showed a strength as a human being that no one else in history could ever match.  He offered Himself as a sacrifice.  He allowed nails to be driven into His hands and feet.  He voluntarily endured lashings and the pain of thorns piercing His head.  The love He showed on the cross alone should drive us to our knees.

But He didn’t stop with sacrifice and death.  He descended into hell and did what no one else could ever do.  He defeated death.  He conquered Satan for all who will believe.  He freed us to spend eternity with our Father in Heaven.  There is no greater love.  And Easter reminds us how much we are loved by our Father.  I praise Jesus for the strength and mercy He showed us on the cross. 

“I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains,

Hope that doesn’t ever end, even when the sky is falling.

I’ve seen miracles just happen;

Silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new.

That’s what faith can do!”

~Kutless

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Easter Fun

April 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm (Faith, Family)

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Easter is such a wonderful time!  It’s the remembrance of the amazing sacrifice our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ made for us.  It’s a symbol of God’s power in triumphing over evil to save our eternal souls.  It’s freedom and new beginnings.  The spring is here and the flowers are blooming.  This is also a wonderful time for family.  My mom, sister and I are in the second year of what we hope will be an annual tradition, the Good Friday Easter and Spring Tea at my mom’s house.  This year, we did crafts with the kids, ate some yummy treats, drank some soothing tea, played wiffle ball, dyed eggs, and even had a a beautiful piano concert!

The Crafts

Stained glass (aka Plexiglass with colored Sharpies) crosses…

Katie Stained Glass

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The final products…

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Paper plate bunny purses…a craft my mom’s neighbor emailed me!

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And egg dying and decorating, of course!

Colton Egg

Katie Egg

Decorated Eggs

The Food

Yummy treats, scones, cookies, cinnamon rolls…

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The cake I made…also inspired by my mom’s neighbor…

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Outside Fun

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The Concert

My niece is a piano prodigy.  I know a lot of people say that about their kids or loved ones, but seriously, she’s amazing.  At nine, she’s already composing her own pieces and participating in competitions.  It’s such a joy to hear her play!

Julia Piano

And this picture is one of my favorites from the day…my niece playing with the picture of Jesus above her.  Love it!

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My kids taking a turn.  With a teacher like their cousin, I think they will have to have a bit of a musical bone!

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Colton Piano

Church Egg Hunt

Every year, our church does an egg hunt for the kids.  It’s a wonderful time!  They break the kids into three groups and give age-appropriate lessons on the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and then they turn the kids loose in their respective areas to hunt for eggs.  This year was a bit more challenging since there is a huge hole in the ground where the new church is going to be built :).  But the coordinators pulled it off, and all of the kids had a great time!

Katie Egg Hunt

Katie Egg Hunt 2

Colton Egg Hunt

They even have some of our talented church members paint the kids’ faces!

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Colton Face Paint

I love that the pictures caught some of the construction…history in the making for our amazing church family!

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And then we came home for a Bento box picnic and play time in the back yard…

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Other Crafts We’ve Been Doing

With dear hubby working hard to help other people out this week, I was also able to squeeze in some craft time with the kids after work.  We started by painting a plane, train, and fire truck that we got our son for Christmas…

Colton Painting

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Plane Train

Then we did some awesome fingerpaint crosses!

Colton Cross Fingerpaint

Katie Cross Fingerpaint

Fingerpaint Crosses

And I will close this post with a shot of the beautiful orchid my husband got me…it’s making me very happy on the kitchen windowsill!

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I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Easter weekend!  Praise the Lord for His sacrifice, mercy and love!!!  Have a very blessed Easter!

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A Weekend Outdoors – Finally!

April 13, 2014 at 7:16 pm (Family, Personal)

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I think everyone in our area is so happy to have weekend of beautiful weather!!  It really does seem like it’s been a long time since we could break out the spring and summer clothes.  The kids have spent pretty much the entire weekend outside, and it has been a much-needed break from the indoors.  Friday afternoon and evening were spent in the back yard getting all of that energy out on the trampoline and play yard…

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My son has taken over pushing duties whenever my daughter is on the swings.  It drives her crazy because he doesn’t push her as high as she wants to go, but it’s so adorable!!

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He takes the job very seriously, and he’s extremely protective of his job.  Sometimes I test him and try to push her…and I get shoved out of the way and told “I’m pushing.” :)  Love it!

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And we played all the way up until it got dark!

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We started the weekend off taking my son to track practice…he’s still warming up to it, but he did better than last weekend.  Then we spent the afternoon at the park with this wonderful lady and her kiddos…

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She is one of my kindred spirits.  We don’t get to hang out much, but it’s so nice when we do.  She is the only other mama I know who works full time and has a ridiculously long commute…in fact, she works just a few blocks from me.  So it’s nice to get together and commiserate about all the time we wish we could spend with our kids and how crazy it is to work all day and come home to clean a house that has been lived in by hubby and littles all day.  I feel so blessed to have someone who is walking such a similar path in life that very few people understand!  It’s truly therapeutic talking to her!  And while we talked, the kids had a blast playing hard…

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Always my little daredevil, my daughter was into everything…totally fearless, this one is…

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The fun thing is, her more cautious older brother was following her lead and exploring new activities!

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And then there was the fireman’s pole.  My daughter came over to me and said, “Mommy, come watch me slide.”  So I’m thinking sliding on a literal slide.  Oh no.  She climbed right up, grabbed onto the fireman’s pole, jumped and slid.  My mama heart skipped a few beats, but she was perfectly fine.  And then my son followed suit.  I had to watch her a couple of times before I felt secure enough in her abilities to take a picture…

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So thankful for a beautiful weekend and fun with the kiddos!

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April Miscellany

April 11, 2014 at 10:05 pm (Family, Personal)

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A rainy shot of the backyard courtesy of my daughter :)!  I have to say I am so glad to have some sunshine and temps in the 70s.  It’s been a long winter.  We still haven’t heard anything on the house front…buying a house from a bankruptcy estate is way more involved than I anticipated.  But I just keep going back to the song, “I will serve You while I’m waiting.  I will worship while I’m waiting on you Lord.”  So we have been focusing on Bible studies, church, friends, and prayer.  And now that it’s sunny out, we’ve been enjoying the back yard we have right now!  It may only be a rental, but we are so very blessed to have lived here for the past 4 years.  I’ve also been getting my focus back to the kids and myself.  The nice thing about waiting for an answer on the house we want is that we haven’t had to go look at houses for the past couple of weeks.  So I’ve been getting outside with the kids, taking them to the library and on play dates at the park, and just enjoying these days with them.  I’ve even gotten back into working out.  It’s literally been years since I’ve exercised more than 10-20 minutes at a time…and more than six years since I’ve exercised two or more days in a row.  So this is totally kicking my butt.  But I’m on my third day of working out to Jillian Michaels’ “Burn Fat, Boost Metabolism” video, and I am feeling great…sore, but great!  If you ever want a really good cardio/strength workout that doesn’t require any equipment, this is an excellent one!  Today, my daughter and I had a “beauty” day!  She saw me painting my toes and wanted to paint her own, so we went to the dollar store and picked up some kids nail polish…

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Such cute tiny toes!!!  Then she wanted her hair in two french braids like mine…

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with a headband of course :)!

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When I first found out I was pregnant with my second kid, I was actually kind of hoping for another boy.  But these days, I really don’t know what I would do without my little girl.  She’s such a joy in my life, and I absolutely love doing the “girly” stuff with her.  So thankful that God knows what we need in our lives better than we do!  But I do still love my little boy to pieces.  He’s such a sweet and special child.  I bought hair clippers so that we can start saving money on haircuts for my son and my hubby.  Dear son got to be the guinea pig…

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This is several days after mama’s first attempt at a boy’s haircut, but I’m overall really happy with how it turned out.  I think hubby will wait until I do Colton’s hair a couple more times before he lets me do his, though :).  So that’s what’s going on around here.  And I will end this post with another picture taken by my three-year-old baby girl.  I so love that she’s into photography!  That’s been one of my favorite hobbies for many many years now, and I look forward to sharing that with her!  So here’s a picture she took of her favorite TV show…

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Have a blessed weekend!

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Pictures Straight from the Phone

March 31, 2014 at 5:47 pm (Uncategorized)

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I have a really cheap old refurbished cell phone, and it doesn’t take good pictures or hold very many pictures, for that matter.  But sometimes you just don’t have the good camera around when cute memories happen.  So I was cleaning out the tiny memory in my phone and emailed the pictures I had on there to myself.  And I decided they would be fun memories to post!  They may not be the highest quality, but they are memories I cherish!

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First dentist visit…

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Chatting on a toy phone…

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Chik-Fil-A play date with friends…

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Firefighter day at school…

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Ready for gymnastics class!

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Ready to get front teeth pulled…

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Mini photographers :)!

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AWANA Grand Prix

March 29, 2014 at 11:27 pm (Family, Personal)

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Every year, our church does an AWANA Grand Prix.  It’s a highly anticipated event in our household :).  This year was the funnest yet because the kids actually painted their own cars and decorated them with stickers.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go this year since my close friend had an inspirational women’s conference at the same time.  But the littles and hubby had a blast!  Our son even won two trophies for speed and design!  Hubby’s car won a speed trophy, too!  Here’s some pics hubby took at the derby…

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Colton with his prize winner!

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Katie with her purple beauty!

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Katie’s going to the starting line.

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Colton’s at the starting line…middle car.

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Colton getting his awards.

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Katie’s car.

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Colton’s car…I love how this turned out.

And when we all got home, the kids decided to take up photography :)!   Love that they are into taking pictures!  Kaitlyn did a good job taking pictures of Colton…proud mama!

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Colton’s a little more avant garde…

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Have a blessed weekend!

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Footloose after 30 Years

March 23, 2014 at 8:26 pm (Uncategorized)

If you need something to smile about, check out the Footloose tribute Kevin Bacon did on the Tonight Show.  That theme song just makes me want to dance!!!  Hard to believe it’s been 30 years since Footloose first came out.  Wonderful nostalgia, and how on earth do Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgewick still look so young!?  Such a cute, patriotic couple…a true rarity in Hollywood these days!

My daughter watched the clip three times!!  She loves music, dancing and gymnastics.  But I laughed so hard I cried when she said “They’re saying my horse’s name, Buttercup!”  “Every Buttercup, every Buttercup…”  Yeah, kids are just too adorable!

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Life and Musings

March 23, 2014 at 7:46 pm (Uncategorized)

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Winter has been rough this year.  Not necessarily bad, just grueling.  It’s been the snowiest winter we’ve had in years and, while I have loved the extra days home with my kids, the amount of snow we’ve gotten has really thrown our whole schedule off for months now.  Here are some of the latest snow pictures:

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Swinging…

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Clearing the snow…  Good luck with that this year!

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Barstow….

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Snow angels!  My daughter’s favorite snow day fun thing this year!

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I even made a snow angel….

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Making tracks…

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And in the midst of all the snow, we have now been actively trying to find a house to buy for three months.  That is a far more aggravating process than I ever imagined, I have to say.  On the Christian radio station this week, one of the callers said that she and her husband were in their early 30s and buying a home for the first time.  They put in seven offers that fell through for one reason or another before they finally found the house God wanted them to have.  That story has been both encouraging and depressing this past week :).  We’ve put offers in on three properties now, and none have worked out yet.  While I have full faith that God will lead us to the home He wants us to have in His perfect timing, I am not enjoying the search at all.  I’m just not a big shopper.  I love Amazon shopping because I can just browse, choose and buy.  It’s simple and efficient.  House shopping has been time consuming and painful.  I guess I really just went into this thinking we would look at the list of available properties, pick out ones we liked, go see them, choose which one we want, and buy it.  Easy.  But it’s been far from that.  I spend hours poring over listings, visiting houses, filling out offers, and thinking about how each house would work for our family.  There’s so much to consider – school options, location in proximity to my work, land, whether it’s zoned for livestock, neighborhood, HOAs.  It’s just simply been overwhelming, and it’s taking far more of my time, thought and energy than I planned.  It’s taken a toll on the kids, too.  We’ve had to make extra effort to ensure we get Colton’s homework done each night and that we fit family fun into the schedule, whether it’s reading, movie night, or just being silly together.

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This has also been a trying winter for other various reasons.  Colton had to have his two front teeth pulled.  He chipped the teeth in the bathtub when he was 18 months old, and the lasting damage led to an infection.  He was such a champ at the dentist when he had to get them pulled though.  He just kicked back in the chair with headphones on, watching a movie on a TV they had mounted to the ceiling…love the kid friendly dentists!!  He barely squirmed through the whole process, and he was super proud of his gaping smile!

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This has also been a winter of many prayers.  We’ve prayed fervently with a friend whose husband was awaiting results on a colon cancer test – he got a clean bill of health, praise the Lord!  Another friend’s husband lost his mother to cancer this winter.  And just yesterday, we watched another friend’s three-year-old boy while her husband had surgery to remove kidney stones.  So many prayers have been answered, and it’s been exhausting!  But I am truly amazed each day by how faithful and wonderful God is.  Change is in the air all around.  One friend moved to another state.  We’re planning to move after four years of renting.  Our church has broken ground on a new building as we prepare to expand to meet the growing needs in our community.  I haven’t had much time for crafting or cakes lately, as you can imagine :), but I will share this cake I did in February:

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And a couple of snow day crafts I did with the kids….

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Footprint Penguins

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Snowman Popcorn

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Celebrating Dr. Seuss!

On the very positive side, our monthly women’s Bible study is going beautifully.  We are working through Angela Thomas’ “Do You Think I’m Beautiful” study.  For the meeting in March, we watched Angela’s fourth video in the series, and it was so touching, convicting and encouraging.  Then we topped the video viewing off with a prayer stations activity.  At the first station, we used Scrabble tiles to spell out words that describe God and we reflected on and praised God for his amazing character.  The second station was for thanksgiving, and we wrote things we are thankful for on index cards and prayed over each thing we wrote.  The third station was prayer knots.  We tied 4-5 knots in a piece of twine for places in our lives where we feel God working today.  Then we prayed over each knot.  The fourth station was the releasing of burdens or anything that is standing between us and God.  We wrote whatever burden was on our hearts on a river stone and prayed that God would lift it from us.  Then we imagined dropping the burden into God’s hands as we placed the stone in a bowl of water beads.  The final station was confession and forgiveness.  We set up trays of colored sand, wrote a confession in the sand and prayed for forgiveness.  Then we wiped the sand clean with our fingers.  This activity was so spiritually uplifting and got such an overwhelmingly positive response from all of the ladies who attended.  I highly recommend that any women’s ministry consider adding an activity like this to one of their events!

Well, even though they’re calling for more snow on Tuesday, it’s been wonderful having these small breaks of spring weather!  The kids really need the outdoor time without the snow~

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Last night, we broke out the watercolor paints, and it was a much needed artistic release for the kiddos!

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Have a very blessed week!  Praising God that spring weather is almost here!

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A Wintry Break

February 13, 2014 at 4:51 pm (Cakes, Family, Personal)

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I really do love snow days.  It’s not that I like cold weather…I don’t.  I went to college in Arizona for a reason!  But snow days mean a break from work, a break from the commute and the daily grind.  It means that I get to do what I love the most, spend time having fun with my kids.  It means sleeping in, snowmen, snow angels, snowball fights, fun breakfasts, fun crafts, and the thought of settling early with some hot chocolate and popcorn for a family movie night.  I thank God for every snow day!  This week has been such a roller coaster, with a going away girls night for a good friend who is moving to another state; the stress of trying to get out of a house contract after a terrible home inspection; the search for another house and the possibilities of buying my dream fixer upper farmhouse.  On top of everything, we’ve all been sick.  God has been so good in surrounding us with wonderful people to get us through the tough times.  And today is much needed down time.  Today’s snow was finally a wet snow perfect for making a snowman.  So we made the little guy above, complete with chocolate chip eyes and buttons, a carrot nose, and hat and scarf.  The kids called him Frosty, of course!

Kids and Snowman

They were so happy that they finally got to make a snowman this year!

Snowman Breakfast

This is the fun breakfast we started the day off with.  I had to use adult plates to fit everything that I wanted to fit.  The banana snowman is an idea I had seen several times on Pinterest.  I used chocolate sprinkles for the eyes and buttons, a small piece of carrot for the nose, and black icing gel I had left over from Christmas cookies for the hat and arms.  The snowflakes are pancakes with rainbow sprinkles mixed into the batter but out with a cookie cutter.  And then the berries and chocolate chips add the perfect finish!  Both kids gobbled this up!

Making Snowman

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My baby girl in the snow!  The hat and little cowl are my latest crochet project.  She picked that chunky yarn out yesterday at Michaels, so I made her fun new hat and cowl set last night.  I’m loving it on her!

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And my adorable little man…

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Finally got a good picture of my daughter and me!  I’m working on the whole taking a somewhat flattering selfie with everything you want in the frame!

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And one with my son…  I tried a few with all three of us, but I just couldn’t get us all in the frame well…go go Gadget arm!

Gross Snow

Really, we didn’t stay out too long today because the snow, although perfect packing snow for a snowman, was actually pretty gross and slushy overall.  But we had fun while it lasted!

Other miscellaneous stuff…

Ducky Cake

Last weekend, I did a cake for a baby shower the ladies of our church put on for a wonderful young woman.  It was rubber ducky themed!!!!  I loved doing the cake, and the shower was an absolute blast!  Couldn’t have been a nicer day for a nicer person.  It amazes me how many wonderful women are part of our church.  They are all so generous, giving, encouraging, and truly celebrate the joy of others…not to mention they’re all insanely talented!  So many gorgeous handmade knit and crochet blankets and baby clothes!

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I didn’t have time to go the handmade blanket route for the gift, which probably worked out well since she got quite a few from other guests.  But I did manage to work up a little crochet rubber ducky from a pattern that came through my allfreecrochet email at just the right time!

Puppy Hats

And I also added another puppy hat to the group.  A friend of ours loved my kids’ hats so much, she asked me to do one for her granddaughter!  So of course we had to get a picture of the whole bunch before the purple puppy moved on to her new home :)!

Boo Drawing

And I’ll end this post with something that’s brightening my world so much.  My son has taken up drawing on magnetic boards.  He loves it, and I have to say, his artistic ability at 5 years old is impressing me.  I didn’t get a picture of the bus he drew when we were reading wheels on the bus last night, but it was pretty awesome.  The picture here is one he drew on his sister’s magnetic board and it’s a picture of Boo from Monsters Inc.  I love it!!!

Have a very blessed end of the week!

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