Fall is in the air and I am loving it! This is absolutely my favorite season – fairs, festivals, fun crafts, holidays, and everything pumpkin! We kicked off the fair circuit with the Anne Arundel County Fair. It’s always a fun one, with carnival rides, a kids play area, and tons of animals. Here are some highlights from the fair… The kids play area had a corn pit, velcro apple tree, and fun wheel barrow maze.
We ran into the people who brought the ponies out to my parents’ house for my mom’s birthday last year, and they gave the kids free pony rides. So my dad bought each of the kids a stuffed horse from them. Here’s Kaitlyn with hers…
The carnival rides – Kaitlyn rode the ferris wheel for the first time…
Both kids rode the cars…
And the carousel…
My favorite picture is of all of the kids with the tiny Bibles they got from the Gideon’s booth…
And now for the kids’ crafts we’ve been doing. There are so many fun ideas out there! Here are a few…
Cardstock Elephant Craft
These cute little elephants are from today. When I got home from work, Kaitlyn said she wanted to make an elephant craft. So I Googled it and found this. I just folded pieces of cardstock, drew the elephant body, and cut it out. Then I cut out an ear/tusk piece for each side, cut a slit, and slid them through. Quick, fun, adorable, and well loved by the kiddos!
Toilet Paper Roll Penguins
Yesterday, when I got home from work, Kaitlyn said she wanted to make a penguin craft (I’m starting to see a trend here :)). So we Googled penguin crafts and found this one. The kids had a blast painting the toilet paper roll black and gluing on the belly, wings, feet, beak, and eyes!
Sunday School Craft
This one is a craft we did from our Sunday School curriculum. It’s probably my favorite yet! It’s just a piece of cardstock folded over, eight Popsicle sticks glued around the edges, and stickers for decoration. So adorable!
And one of my favorite activities to do with the kids – chalk drawing! I took them outside last night and let them have at it. I took a few requests for drawings, but they did most of it. Colton is quite the little sidewalk artist! Seeing this on my way out the door really brightened my day when I left for work at 4:30 this morning.
Washi Tape Owl
And last but far from least – the Washi Tape Owl. This is currently my favorite craft ever. I love owls, and when I saw this idea, I absolutely flipped for it. This is going to go in Kaitlyn’s room. Now that my kids have seemingly outgrown the coloring all over their walls stage, I have grand plans for redecorating their rooms :)! This owl will be the perfect touch for Kaitlyn’s! I got the original idea here. The link will take you to really good instructions. I just bought the wooden owl from the Artsy Chaos Etsy site, painted it lilac, put one some Washi tape, sealed it with Mod Podge, and added a little felt and button bow. Loving this right now!
Have a blessed week!
It has been way too long since I’ve even had time to think about updating this blog. The summer breezed by in literally the blink of an eye…a fun and exciting blink, but a blink nonetheless :). Our son officially started full-time kindergarten this year (August 21! That just seems so darn early to me,) So I am really missing having him around the house on the days I work from home. But he seems to be enjoying it…that’s all that matters! Here are a few pictures we took as we rushed out the door for his first day…
I have seen the chalkboard idea on several blogs, so I’d been dying to try it. We picked up a cheap wood frame, but a piece of plywood to fit, sanded it down, and painted it with spray chalkboard paint. I love how it turned out!
My little boy is growing up :(…
And a shot with the sunflowers the kids and I planted at the beginning of the summer. Love you, Colt-man!
So happy Labor Day, everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful day. The thing I love most about Labor Day isn’t all the fun end-of-summer pool parties…although those are a blast! What I love most is having a day to take time and uber-clean the house, catch up on laundry, try to squeeze in that tiny few minutes on my step exercise machine so I feel like I am actually doing something to get back in shape. Let me tell you, a summer of indulging in Bubba Burgers, Klondike Bars, Rita’s frozen custard, and birthday cakes is really taking a toll on my wasteline. Oh how I long for the days when I could eat anything and not think twice about it. So I have been working on getting back to healthy menus and incorporating more activity into our daily lives. The food part is easy…I love to cook and there are plenty of amazingly delicious healthy recipes. It’s just a matter of skipping the sweets more often :)…easier said than done, I know. But here is a really awesome snack idea I found recently. I honestly cannot remember where I first saw this or I would gladly show some love to them.
Mmmmm….here they are…yummy peanut butter crunch bananas. Just coat a banana in peanut butter, roll in Rice Krispies, and slice. Since my kids and I are all banana and peanut butter lovers, this has become a staple in our house! It’s actually more like eating dessert than a healthy snack, but it is definitely packing a punch with the potassium and protein. Love it! A shot of the bananas added to a typical lunch for my kids…
The Owl Trend
I am not at all a trendy person…as is probably clear by my lack of interest in the social media craze and all the little electronic gadgets that people can’t do without these days. But one trend that I am very happy to jump on board with is the owl trend! I have always loved owls, and the stuff they are coming out with is just too cute…not to mention it all goes on awesome sales at the craft stores! We have several owl crafts we are going to do in the coming days, but for now, I will just share a couple of my favorite new owl decor items…
This dish towel and the matching oven mitts were 65% off at JoAnns…50% sale with a 15% off your entire purchase coupon. And then there’s this fun little ceramic owl from Michaels…so adorable….
And the Kids Crafts…
Now to my favorite part…the kids crafts. Here are a few of the things we’ve been working on lately. I will try to credit wherever I got the ideas if I can remember. Unfortunately, many times I look this stuff up during my break time at work and forget where I found it or what it was originally called by the time I post it. But I will try!
This idea I got from a craft magazine my parents gave me a while back. My kids love chalkboards…and drawing on the walls… so we decided to make these fun chalkboard for them to hang up in their rooms. I sanded down large sheets of plywood and then painted them with green spray chalkboard paint…it took several coats to get a good surface. Then I helped the kids paint a dot border around the board using acrylic paints and Q-tips. To finish it off, I hot glued a ribbon around the outside edge of the board and a picture with a dotted border on the board. Fun times for years to come!
Tiny Yarn Butterflies
I have a ton of leftover yarn from all of my knitting and crochet projects, so I am always on the lookout for some good kids crafts that use yarn scraps. When I came across this one, I knew the kids and I were going to have a great time doing this. Both of my kids really like butterflies, so this was perfect. It’s so simple, and it’s a great way to teach kids the basics of weaving yarn. The full tutorial is at the link above, but all these really entail is weaving yarn in and out of fork prongs and then tying it in the center with a different color yarn. The butterflies are truly tiny, so they’re perfect for a little girl to carry around in her purse :). And these didn’t take long at all, so we made a lot of them…way more than pictured!
Butterfly Finger Puppets
And while we’re on the topic of butterflies, here is another fun and easy butterfly craft. I found the original idea here. I modified it to be a more simple project, but I still think they turned out adorable. We just cut out some light green cardstock in the shape of butterflies, then I had the kids decorate them with feathers, jewels and markers we had on hand. Then I hot glued a pipe cleaner body on and a small loop made out of cardstock scraps on the back for the kids to put their fingers in. They really loved decorating these and playing with them.
Yarn Pom Pom Animals
I saw this idea for animal pom poms here, and I absolutely had to try it! The tutorial you will find by following the link is excellent, as is that site’s flower pom pom tutorial. The basics are fairly simple, but this is a craft that will drive any of my fellow perfectionists insane! The key to getting these animals to look good is all in the trimming. And I could have trimmed for hours. I finally just had to walk away and call it good. My kids LOVED these though, and they are extremely addicting to make. They are definitely not kid friendly as far as the kids actually being able to make them or even really help out all that much. But if you are looking for something fun to make your kids and have some extra yarn laying around, give this a try. It is really fun overall, and the animal pom poms are too cute!
And finally, our little clothespin mermaids. My daughter has been asking to do a mermaid craft for a while, and I remember doing these when I was little, so we broke out the acrylic paint and some more yarn. I did a sample to show them how to do it, but both of them ended up painting pretty much the whole clothespin green. My daughter even made her mermaid’s face pink to match her hair! I thought they were adorable! My son was going to make a merman, but he liked the orange yarn, so we turned his into some sort of alien mermaid thing.
Well, that’s it for now. Have a great Labor Day! Stay safe and happy crafting!
Since this was a special birthday for my baby girl and I spent A LOT of time working on her Sofia dress, I really wanted to get some good portraits of her in it. Given that I am not even remotely a portrait photographer, my camera is a cheap point and shoot with very few options for manual control and my subject was a less than willing model :), I was pretty happy with these shots overall. They captured Kaitlyn at age 3, the dress, and a ton of little princess personality!!
We started out taking photos in the backyard with a marigold. She sat pretty well for these, but really just wanted to make faces and get her “binky” back.
Love this look….
Watching the birds…a favorite past time…
Then we moved inside and I used an idea I saw on the blog A Place for Us. I taped some wrapping paper to the wall as a backdrop and took a few shots. She was even less interested in this little indoor session.
And this one about sums up how she felt about the whole thing :)…
But I am still really happy with these memories! Love you, little Katybug!
So the furlough days have given me an extra 12 1/2 hours at home per week, and I am really loving it! Won’t talk about the finances of it…it’s so well worth the extra time with the kids. This week, we have been crafting away and spending some good quality time outside while the weather is gorgeous. It’s been a really fun time, and here are some of the crafts ideas we’ve used. The first is one that I did when I was a kid…yarn octopus.
These are super cute and super easy. I also found that it’s a great way to have the kids practice counting and learn about tying bows. Just count out strands of yarn about 36″ long. For thinner yarn, like the ones my kids picked out from my yarn bin, I would recommend cutting at least 60 strands. For thicker yarn, you could probably get away with about 48-50. Tie the yarn strands together at the center with a small piece of yarn the same color as the yarn you are using for the octopus. Then spread the yarn evenly over a 3″ or 4″ styrofoam ball. I used a rubber band to secure the yarn at the bottom. Then divide the yarn strands into 8 equal sections…or close to equal at least. Braid and secure with a different color yarn. Tie a bow over the rubber band at the bottom of the head, glue on some googly eyes and a yarn smile, and you have a fun little octopus. The kids really loved this one!
This week, I was teaching the kids about recycling and reusing to take care of the environment. So I found some fun craft ideas that reuse materials we would usually just throw away. I found the original ideas for the first two here. The first is a bottle cap fish scene…
We saved up our milk and water bottle caps and then I had the kids paint them with acrylic paint. While they dried, we crumpled up strands of green tissue paper and glued them to light blue cardstock to look like seaweed. Then we added yellow cardstock tales, brown paint on the bottom for sand, and the painted bottlecaps. We glued on some googly eyes, painted on smiles, and used glitter glue for the accents. For the bubbles, the kids dipped the end of a straw into white paint and dotted it on. Adorable, easy, and fun!
The next one was a bottle cap flower…
This was pretty much the same deal as the fish. The kids painted milk caps for the petals. While those dried, we put the stem on and the kids cut the fringe for the grass. We used Pringles can tops with a yellow cardstock circle glued on top and yellow cardstock rays for the sun. Then we glued the bottle cap petals and pompom middles on and accented the flower and the sun with glitter glue. Thanks for the awesome ideas I Heart Crafty Things!
The next conservation art came from the blog Easy Crafts for Children. This site has some really fun ideas, so I’m sure we’ll be using it a lot. One of the cutest ideas I saw and absolutely had to try was the Cardboard Made Owl. There are so many fun things to do with paper towel and toilet paper rolls. This is one of the cutest ideas I’ve seen.
The kids just painted toilet paper rolls with acrylics, cut some scrapbook paper into wings, glued on googly eyes, and painted little brown beaks. Too cute for words, and they loved making these fun little owls so much! Thank you, EasyCraftsForChildren!
Tissue Paper Fish Kites
The last craft I have to post is these tissue paper fish kites…
My kids saw these in one of the craft magazines we have laying around the house and really wanted to make them. So we got some colorful tissue paper and set to work. It was actually really simple. We just cut a 20″ x 1″ strip of poster board and stapled it into a circle. Then we took one full sized sheet of tissue paper for the body, folded it in half lengthwise, and cut a triangle out of the bottom for the tail. Then I stapled the top of the tissue paper to the poster board circle and glued the seam of the tissue paper in the back. Then we cut out half ovals for the gills and glued them onto the top. Then cut out four fins as well as a large oval and small oval for the eyes, and glue them all into place. Punch four equally spaced holes in the top ring and secure with twine to hang.
This was supposed to be posted Monday, hence the title :). But my computer was having issues. Enjoy, and have a blessed week!
1) Having faith in God is the easy part. It’s the thought that He still has faith in me that blows my mind.
This was a thought I had while I was talking to my sister about having faith in God’s plan and timing. My life experiences have taught me to have faith in God. He has always come through, never let me down. He has helped me through every difficult time, even when I didn’t call on Him. He has made sure that I always have what I need, never too much and never too little, always just enough. But what really does blow my mind is that through all of my faults, failures, and selfishness, God still has faith in me. He still trusts me to play a role in His plans. That is beyond amazing to me.
2) Blog post love
One of my favorite blogs to follow is Steadfast Life. This blog is the one that really got me interested in blogging. I first found it when I was looking for an American girl doll dress pattern to make my niece some dresses for her doll. I’ve been hooked ever since. I see blogs as a way to share ideas and, as women, to help each other make the homes we want to make for our families. So I wanted to share a link to a recent post on the Steadfast Life blog called Content. This is such a beautiful and heartfelt post that resonated with me from start to finish. I think as wives and mothers, we all just long to create a happy home for our husbands and kids. That’s what I love about blogs, Pinterest, and simple things like sharing recipes and cleaning or decorating tips. This post really nails it on the head about how much fun it is to learn new skills that we probably wouldn’t learn if we had the money to purchase anything we wanted. It’s so much more enriching to learn how to DIY! And wow did Janna’s husband give her the greatest compliment I think any wife and mother could ask for when he told her she could make any home special. That would be the most amazing thing to hear from a husband or kids, I think! If you get a chance, check out her post. It’s beautifully spiritual and insightful.
When I was driving to the bus stop this morning well before the sun was ready to rise, I got the most amazing view of the moon. If it wasn’t a full moon, it was darn close. And the way the clouds drifted through it, I was just in awe. This past weekend, we talked about walking in the light of the Lord at church. People like darkness because of the bad side of our nature, but God calls us to walk in the light when we are saved, to strive to live upstanding, moral lives. As I saw this moon, I thought about that idea. Even in the dark of night, God never leaves us without light. It’s a comforting thought to me.
4) No more July birthdays
This is just a random thought, but July is just absolutely packed with birthdays. My daughter celebrates hers next week; we have already been to three kids’ birthday parties in July; I have two close family members with birthdays in July; I have made cakes for two other kids from our church who have birthdays in July; and pretty much everyone I know either has a birthday in July or has a kids with a birthday in July. Pure craziness! So I have resolved that even if hubby and I decide to try for one more kid, I will be doubling up on birth control so that I don’t conceive at a time that would put our child’s birthday in July :)! But on the upside, this is the month I have now dedicated to the celebration of life since it has clearly brought about an abundance of life!!
I’ve been insanely busy working on an almost all homemade Sofia the First birthday party for my daughter…can’t wait to post all of the fun ideas I’ve found from some wonderful blogs and Pinterest! But I haven’t had much time to post. Here are some of the fun things we’ve been working on. I’ve been wanting to make a calendar for a while so that the kids can work on days and months on a daily basis. I found some cute zebra border free printables here and made a space for weather and a space for scripture. I haven’t printed up the scripture verses yet, but the plan is to have one verse for the kids to read daily per month. Everything is attached with little round Velcro fasteners. It’s been a big hit so far, and I’m hoping this will keep the kids interested in learning the months and days.
I’ve also been dying to spruce up the old wooden speakers my grandmother gave us. We are really just using them as tables in the living room. I had seen adorable stenciled burlap runners on several blogs and on Pinterest, so I decided that was the way to go. This was an amazingly easy and quick project. I just stitched the edges in with a straight seam and used glossy acrylic paint to stencil on the M and design. A fun way to add a little bit of easy decoration!
I also got a fun order for a Despicable Me minion birthday cake. I combined a few different ideas I saw online and added a cute triangle banner…an idea that my friend had shown me. It turned out pretty cute and fun! The banner was the perfect addition – thanks, Michelle!
We also finally got out to the PAX River Naval Air Museum. Our babysitter and her family work there part time, so we’ve been meaning to get there. The kids really enjoyed all of the planes, and they had really durable foam toy planes for $3 apiece…the perfect memento! At the controls…
In the cockpit…
It was a fun time and something quick and free to do with the kiddos.
And now for the garden love… The cucumbers are really flourishing! And that little fuzzy green thing on the left is a cantaloupe. I was kind of hoping it would be the watermelon because there are at least five, but I’m happy with cantaloupe, too!
The tomato plants are starting to fruit, too…
And then of course, there is the insane mini pumpkin plant…it’s taking over the world! I see a lot of baked mini pumpkin in our future, which is fine by me. I just hope there are still mini pumpkins growing when fall comes around so I can decorate like crazy!
I hope everyone is having a great week so far!
My furlough officially started today, and I have to say I could definitely get used to this. ..home all day with the kids, not allowed to even log onto my work computer or blackberry. Granted, I haven’t seen the furlough paycheck yet, but I really enjoyed having this day. As I work through the ABCJesusLovesMe homeschool curriculum with my kids this summer, we have been doing a lot of Bible stories, worksheets, and of course crafts. So I thought I would share a post with some of the craft ideas.
These are a little late for the 4th of July. We just didn’t have time to do them before. But it was kind of nice doing these after the kids saw the fireworks and they were fresh in their minds. We just made firework shapes with glue on cardstock and the kids sprinkled glitter on top. They had a blast making these…glitter is always a huge hit!
After the glue and glitter fireworks, Kaitlyn decided she wanted to make a flower, so we worked on cutting construction paper. Colton is doing pretty well with scissors. I still guide Kaitlyn, but she does all of the cutting.
These aren’t from today, but they were part of the homeschool curriculum and something that the kids both really enjoyed. They’re just simple robot cutouts, but they were perfect for both of my kids. Kaitlyn even wanted to start her own art wall with hers.
I did these chalk Jesus fish with my Sunday school class a while back, but Colton wanted to do one here and add it to his art wall. For this, we just drew the Jesus fish and “Follow Jesus” with Elmer’s glue, let it dry and then colored over it in chalk.
I also got a chance to start on Kaitlyn’s Sofia the First dress. We are getting ready for a very fun and very homemade birthday party at the end of July. She has been talking about her Sofia party for nine months now, so it’s going to be a fun one for her. I still have a lot to do as far as embellishing the dress, but at least the main body is together now!
Have a great rest of the week!
It’s been a crazy busy weekend, and the kids are EXHAUSTED! Between birthday parties and fireworks on the 4th, I’m about ready for another weekend! But alas, tomorrow starts another workweek. At least I get an extra day home with the furlough :)! So here are a few pictures from fireworks. We went to PAX River to watch the Solomon’s Island fireworks. The traffic was great, but the fireworks were very far away. They didn’t really hold the kids’ attention. Still, it was nice to get out and see some.
The finale… and the kids sitting around before the fireworks started!
Then yesterday, we had an impromptu birthday party for the grandaughter of our close friends. Our friend lost both her father and her mother this past week…lots of prayers for this family…and the granddaughter ended up being in town right on her 3rd birthday. So they put together a last minute party. It was wonderful. The kids really enjoyed it, and Kaitlyn loves hanging out with this little girl. Here they are together on the 4-wheeler…
There was water fun…
My little daredevil preparing to dive from the slip-n-slide to the little pool…
There were princess hats…
…a fun puppy that our sweaty, tired little girl just loved holding…
There were 4-wheeler rides with dada…
…and Colton’s and my favorite part, the horses…
I worked on a farm for many years and love, love, love horses…miss working with them every second of every day. So it’s always a treat to go over to our friends’ house. Colton is a boy after my own heart, too. He’s going to be a cowboy, just like his daddy! This next picture is Loyal…he’s an ornery old man of a horse, so I had to get a crazy shot of him! Most of the other horse were hanging out in the shade, but not tough old Loyal!
This family also has an amazing garden. I don’t know what it is this year, but I have a fascination with taking pictures of insects. I hate most bugs, but butterflies are definitely an exception. So when I saw butterflies flocking to these flowers, I had to get a few shots :).
Have a blessed week!