Friday, December 30, 2011

Setting Goals

As the new year is approaching I've been thinking a lot about what I want to improve in 2012.
Last year I kinda over did it with my list of things I wanted to accomplish.
So this year I'm going to simplify.
Simplify my goals and my life.
This year I'm going to write down 3 things that I want to do better.
Then I'm going to prioritize them from most important to least important and I'm only going to work on one at a time.
When I become awesome at the first one I will move on to the next.
If it takes me a whole year to finish the first goal I'll be ok with that because it's worth it.
I'm not sure what all 3 goals will be yet but I do know what number 1 is.
I will become more organized!

I am one of the least organized people EVER.
Nothing in my house has a place and things just get piled up everywhere.
It's really hard to admit it but I'm also a mild hoarder.

So this year I will work on making organization a habit.
I will get rid of a lot of junk and I will find a home for everything.
I know that this one goal entails a lot but I also know that becoming more organized will help my family in so many different areas.

So if you start seeing a lot of posts on how to organize this is why.
And if you have any good tips or motivational sayings I would love to hear them!
I'm going to need some motivation to make this happen or at least get started.
Hopefully the results will be enough to keep me going after I start.

Feel free to jump in and take on this challenge with me
or if you're already a pro
let me know what you'll be working on in 2012.



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winner!

And the giveaway winner is
Angie!
Congrats and I will just bring the clips on Sunday.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Countdown Bags

Since New Year's falls on a Saturday night this year we will be having our party at home and sending the kids to bed around 9.
I still want to make sure we have a good time though.
I don't know if you've seen the countdown bags floating around the blog world but they looked really fun so I decided to do my version.

The first thing I made were some noisemakers.
They are super easy and really awesome because they aren't too loud.
And who wants a headache on New Year's Eve?
So here's what you need to scrounge up.

Scrapbooking paper (optional)
Empty ribbon spools
tape
rice
glue

First tape off the opening on one side of the ribbon spool.
 Then you want to put a little bit of rice in the other opening.
Make sure you don't put too much in or there won't be room for the rice to shake.
Now tape up that opening.
Then trace the spool twice onto scrapbooking paper.
Cut out the circles and a strip to cover where the ribbon would be.
After you've got it all cut out just glue it on.
 Then I took brown lunch sacks and drew clocks on them with the time the kids get to open them.
Here are some of the other surprises the kids will find in their bags.
Sparklers
Stuff to make a memory jar
A interview page
Ava will have one with sparkly nail polish and
 Braeden will have one with a recipe for a yummy treat
 Then it will be time for bed so we don't have a bunch of little grumps for church in the morning.

So do you have any big plans for the big night?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Just A Little Bling Giveaway

I wanted to do a little giveaway on my blog for awhile.
It's just a little something but I hope you like it.
I made some of these for a little girl and while I was making then Ava came over and asked if they were hers.
When I told her no she said "But you are going to make me some, right?"
So I made her some and while I was at it made a set to give away to one of you.


So if you have a little girl who loves a little bling as much as mine does or if you want them all for yourself just leave a comment about anything at all.
The giveaway is open until Dec. 29th at noon and the winner will be announced shortly after.
Just make sure you leave your email or check back to see if you won.
This is open to anyone in the U.S. and I will ship it on the 30th.
Hope everyone had a great Christmas.
We had a wonderful time and I'll be posting some pictures real soon.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Photography Winner!!!

!!!Winner Winner!!!
I'm starting the first of 2 insanely crazy days but I wanted to let you know who won the photography contest.
!!!The Bullock Family!!!
I must say I'm extremely excited to photograph your awesome family Sarah.
But I'm sorry you all couldn't win.
Now I'm off to finish up a few presents but
I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!
And don't forget to check back for the hair bow giveaway!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Break and a Giveaway

It's that time of year where I am in crunch mode to
finish making presents
bake cookies,
make gingerbread houses
and just enjoy my family.
I have some things I want to show you but too many of my family members read this so I'll have to wait until after Christmas to show you what I've been working on.

I also wanted to give you a heads up about a giveaway I'll be having after Christmas.
So make sure you check back and enter to win these glittery hair clips.


I wish everyone the happiest of Christmases
and hope you feel the love and joy of this special holiday season.
Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Photography Giveaway

This is a post for my photography.
I don't have a photography page yet so I'm going to use this since Facebook won't let you do giveaways on there anymore.
At least that's what I've heard.

Ok so it's almost Christmas and I've been thinking about doing a giveaway.
 I've been trying to get across to my kids the real meaning of Christmas and that it's important to give as Christ gave.
And I decided I really need to stop talking about it and do something myself!
So I am giving away a 1 hour photo shoot to use anytime next year.
But in the theme of giving I want you to nominate someone you think deserves it.
 Just leave a comment telling me who you want to get the shoot and why.
You have until December 23rd at 9pm to enter and the winner will be announced on Christmas Eve.
So take a minute to think about who you think would really appreciate some photos.

Fine Print :)
The person needs to be in the Huntington/Fort Wayne, IN area
You can nominate as many people as you like who are not in your household.
Oh and while you're here go ahead and follow my blog. It's not required but it's fun!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Self Confidence

Today I am looking for a little bit of advice.
Maybe some advice for me and some for Ava.
I've never been a very confident person, and I don't have a very positive self image
and lately I've noticed Ava worrying about the way she looks WAY to much.
Here are a few examples.
The other day I did her hair.
It was cute but it wasn't perfect and we were running late for school so I didn't have time to redo it.
All the way to school she was crying that her hair didn't look good and that the kids would make fun of her. Let me just add that I know the kids are not making fun of her at school. Every day I am bombarded by kids asking to come to our house and play with Ava and she gets multiple compliments through the week about how cute she looks.
And maybe that's part of it.
Maybe she gets too many compliments on how she looks.
I don't know.
Another example happened last night.
I put her to bed and she was crying because she had a bump on her cheek.
She wanted me to get something to fix it right away.
I told her it was fine and we would look and it in the morning and she got really upset (sad upset, not fit throwing upset) I finally got her calmed down and told her you couldn't even see the bump and then she went to bed fine.

Those are just a few examples but it's been happening a lot lately.
I know that she is watching me and that plays a big part and I try not to say things in front of her but I'm not sure what to do.
How do make a little girl understand how wonderful she is?
She hears it from us on a daily basis but apparently that's not enough.
I know that this is something that will affect her for the rest of her life and that's why I'm asking for any advice you can give.
I know you all are full of wisdom
and thank you in advance.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Polar Bear Express

Yesterday we had an awesome experience.
My Grandparents got everyone in the family who was able to go tickets to ride the Polar Bear Express.
My great grandpa was a railroad engineer so my grandma has a soft spot for trains and for Christmas but I'm not sure the reason behind that.
Probably because Christmas is just makes your feel all giddy and joyful.
Well at least that's how it makes me feel.
Anyway, we got to listen to a Christmas story and then ride the train for about an hour.
Santa and Mrs. Clause and a polar bear walked around and greeted us and
they served hot chocolate and cookies.
It was so much fun spending time with family and traveling by train.
So here are a ton of pictures to document our night.














video



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It only took a year...

Well this week I've been loving on my little sicko.
He's been down and out for 3 days now and his only request is to be held.
24 hours a day.
This is one of those times when I wish my little guy wasn't chunky
because my arms are ready to fall off!
But don't get me wrong I love the cuddle time because my baby is becoming independent way to fast.
So we've read a lot of books.
And colored a lot of pictures.
But most of the time we just cuddled.
And there's not a picture of that because
well no one wants to see what I've looked like the last 3 days.

Now what I've really been wanting to show you is one of Ava's Christmas presents.
I thought of this idea about a year ago,
bought all the stuff to make it about 6 months ago,
and finally got around to making it in the last few weeks.
 I know it's sad but that's how things work around here.
But after a year in the making here is her tutu bedskirt!
Ok so a few things.
First I really think it was worth the wait.
And I realize she really needs a comforter that matches her room.
Hopefully that will be solved sometime soon.
But I'm really loving it!

It's really not that hard to make either.
All you need is LOTS of tulle and a piece of PVC pipe.

Cut the pvc to the length of the bed.
Then cut your tulle and tie it around the pvc just like you would for a tutu skirt.
If your not sure how to do it there are tutorials all over the web.
Just use my friend google and he'll help you out.
When your pipe is covered you want to place 2 screws on the ends of the bed but only screw them in half way.
Then you can put the pipe over the screws and that will help hold it in place.
So it would look like this.
Does that make sense?
If not let me know and I'll get some pictures of it.
Here it is tucked down where it would go.


Mine's not put together yet because it's for Christmas.

I'm SOOOO excited to show Ava.
Now I just have to finish her tutu skirt
and a million other Christmas presents.
Are you ready for Christmas yet???


Linking up to


Friday, December 2, 2011

Classic with a twist

Last night was the first night of December!
Which means the countdown until Christmas begins.
The first activity on our Advent Calendar was to watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn.
I must say that the Christmas spirt took over right away because they agreed on a movie without any fighting!
But before we could watch the movie we had to make the popcorn.
But not just any popcorn
Peppermint Popcorn
I kind of had mixed thoughts about what it was going to taste like but I thought it was worth a shot and it would at least be festive.
I found the recipe on Pinterest (favorite site EVER!!!)
But it comes from the blog Plain Chicken
Peppermint Popcorn
You need to take one bag of microwave popcorn and pop it. ( She uses plain popcorn but I used butter and it tasted good too) Then crush up 6 candy canes and pour on top of popcorn. Melt half a package of Almond bark and and 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the melted almond bark. Pour it over the popcorn and mix it all together. When it's all mixed up spread it out on parchment paper until the chocolate is hardened. Then break apart and eat.

Overall it was a pretty good success.
Braeden who normally doesn't eat popcorn, ate some and both kids asked for some first thing when they woke up.
And of course Mason chowed down as much as he could.
(Some of my pictures just won't flip no matter what I do)
So after our snack was ready we relaxed to the glow of the Christmas tree and watched Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Can't really ask for much better than that for the first night of December.
Well except for Reed being home to enjoy it with us.
So how did you spend your night?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

First Snow of the Season = First Snow Day!

On Tuesday it started snowing.
And snowing.
And snowing.
Mason and Ava were so excited and they stared out the window most of the day.
It was so cute watching Mason in complete awe of the change that was happening outside.
I can just imagine what that little mind of his was thinking.

Then when Braeden got home he got started making snowballs right away.
And you can't make a snowball without throwing it!
So he took aim at his sister who was watching him through the window.


 On Wednesday we woke up to school being cancelled and daddy being sick.
What a fun combination!
So to try and keep the kids from begging and whining about wanting to go outside for just a little while I decided to make some peanut butter clay.
It's super easy and just 3 ingredients.


Peanut Butter Clay

Mix 1 Cup of Peanut Butter with 1/2 Cup of Honey. Add 1 Cup of Powdered milk. Gradually add more until no longer sticky but not too much or it will get crumbly. Then break out the cookie cutters and have fun!


 My kids will play for hours with clay or play doh
and that's just what they did.
(And yes we stay in our jammies all day on snow days)
Then of course you can't have the first snowfall without getting out there and playing in it!
So I bundled them up and sent them out to burn off some stuck in the house energy.

I must admit that I think I like snow days more then the kids do.
We have a whole day to stay at home and work on fun things, and play games.

And tonight we start our 24 days of Christmas.
I still have to get the calendar set up but we'll be ready.
We are also doing a special service activity that we will be starting soon.
More to come on that in the near future.
Have a Happy first day of December!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Teamwork!

Every once in awhile I come across a project that I want to do and Reed jumps in is forced to help me out.
This was one of those projects.
I've been wanting a shelf for my living room for awhile but I didn't want to spend the money to buy one and if I was going to make it, it had to be super easy or it wouldn't get finished.
Confession: I sometimes think I'm more awesome than I really am and take on projects I can't figure out.
But I found this shelf here.
It has awesome instructions and it really wasn't hard at all.
We did tweek it a little.
We didn't put the trim on the bottom and I think we used smaller crown molding then they used.
Reed and I are seriously beginners at this type of stuff so I'm sure you can do it too.
We hung it up and I LOVE IT!!!!
The pictures of my cute kids don't hurt either.
I don't have all of my pictures yet and I'm going to paint some of the frames but I'm pretty impressed with me and my hubby.
Now I need to come up with a saying to put across the bottom in vinyl.
I've got some ideas but I'm not sure yet.
Feel free to give me some imput!
Now excuse me I have to get back to looking at my shelf :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent Ideas

Once Thanksgiving is over it doesn't take me very long to jump right into Christmas.
We stay pretty busy with activities, baking, crafts and lots of other holiday fun.
One thing that we started last year was an advent calendar and it was a blast.
We had a different Christmas related activity every night and it really brought our family closer together and provided a lot of fun, quality time together.
So I thought I would share some of the things we have planned for this year.
There are a lot of different ways you could set it up.
You could put everything in a jar and pull on out each day or plan the activities around your schedule.
I took a cookie sheet and covered it with Christmas scrapbooking paper.
Then I cut out 24 rectangles and folded them in half.
On the inside I wrote the activity and on the outside I wrote the date.
Then I taped them on the cookie sheet.
I had put magnets on the back of the cookie sheet to hang on the fridge but they weren't quite strong enough to hold it up.
So this year I think I will tie some ribbon on the back and hang it on the wall.
Once I get it hung up I'll take a picture for you to see.
Anyway here's what we'll be doing in December.

Learn a new Christmas song
Make homemade marshmallows and cocoa mix
Make a snowman
Make garland
Make reindeer cookies
Make a nativity
Drive around and look at Christmas lights
Do a service for someone
Have a Christmas music dance party
Watch Elf
Read the Christmas story
Write letters to Santa
Make Christmas cards
Make a ornament
Visit a friend
Watch a Christmas movie
Have someone over for dinner
Make Christmas goodies and deliver to someone
Write letters to family that's not around
Take kids to get gifts for each other
Make gift tags
Sing Christmas songs
Play a Christmas game
Make reindeer food and cookies

So that's what's on our advent calendar.
We also read a Christmas book every night
and incorporate Christ and scriptures into our activities as much as possible.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas of fun things you can do with your family during the special month of December

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Fun

I have had so much fun the last few days.
It would have been a perfect few days but my little mad has been sick.
I started with Thanksgiving at my grandparents house.
I went to my families while Reed watched Mason, then he went to his Dad's while I snuggled with my little man.
Then I ended the day and started the next morning with some black friday shopping.
I didn't have a lot on my list but my competitive side can't pass up fighting people for things.
The long night of shopping was followed by a long nap on Friday
then we headed out to the Mad Ants game.

The Mad Ants are the D Leauge basketball team in Fort Wayne
and lucky for us Reed's company has second row seats that no one was using.
I LOVE basketball but mostly just college basketball.
GO DUKE!
The game was pretty good but I can't stand all the whining from the players.
The players questions and complained about every. single. play.
That's a litle pet peeve of mine.
But I won't get one that soap box right now.
The best part of the night was the halftime show.
They had Quick Change for America's Got Talent!

It was so awesome!
I thought that maybe sitting so close we would be able to see something to get an idea how they do it but nothing. Everyone was left in awe.
Seriously awesome.
And today we had Thanksgiving at my Dad's house.
Crazy crazy fun happening around here.
I hope you all had a great holiday weekend and now it's time to go back to normal mode.
Wait Christmas is next month!!!
I guess it's time to start making gifts!
I'll have some to show you soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day of Thanks

Last week our computer died.
It's been a long hard battle for all of us involved.
We thought we had lost him for good but then he came back to us for awhile.
Then last week he finally stopped fighting.
It was for the best though.
And on Monday we brought a new baby home!
I can now type with two hands because I don't have to hold the power cord in place every minute that it's on.
And it stays on for more than 10 minutes at a time.
We are all still getting used to the change but I'm sure it won't take us long.
Ok now for the real post :)
With Thanksgiving being tomorrow I wanted to write about a few things that I'm thankful for.
It's kind of hard to pick out just a few because I have been so blessed.
So to start off I am thankful for my amazing family, especially Reed.
I am so lucky to have married the most amazing man.
He is so understanding, loving, and patient.
He loves me with all his heart no matter what and I know this because he is so good at showing me.
He is the perfect father to our children and my best friend.
My children are my world.
They make me laugh every day and I can't even describe how blessed I am to have such happy, healthy children.
I am also grateful for my Mother.
She is one of my best friends.
We talk almost every single day and I love it.
She listens without judgement and knows exactly when to give input.
She is such a blessing to my life.
I'm grateful that I have a sister.
Everyone needs a sister.
I'm so thankful that even though she is 10 years younger we can hang out and have a blast.
And it doesn't matter what mood I'm in if she comes around she brightens my day.
There are so many blessing in my life but I would be so ungrateful if I didn't express my gratitude for my Savior.
I'm so thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the guidance it gives me.
I can't imagine going through life without my Savior to help me every step of the way.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving
and takes this opportunity to take a day to think of the blessings in our lives.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baby No More

Today is my baby boys 1st birthday.
So I feel that I should tell you the story of Mason.
When we found out I was pregnant with Mason I was really upset.
It wasn't a planned pregnancy I really felt that I wasn't ready to take care of another child.
After he was born every fear I had just melted away.
Not because of his squishy cuteness but because of the joy I felt when he looked at me.
He was the happiest baby ever and I actually feel that it is easier with 3 children instead of 2.
Since he's been born I've never had a question about him belonging in our family.
He makes me want to be a better Mother
and I know that my Heavenly Father was watching over me
and knew that I needed him in my life.
And I am so grateful to be entrusted with raising him.
I just wish he would grow up a little slower.
So here are a few pictures of the squishy cuteness that's so fun to look at and more fun to touch.
 I really don't know why this picture won't rotate.


So go give your babies a hug because we all know they grow up way to fast and there's nothing we can do about it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Got In A Fight

I have a love, hate relationship with the shower.
I love to get clean and warm up with the hot water but
I hate having to do my hair.
Maybe I hate my hair more than my shower but that's not important.
My shower is having issues right now.
It has decided that water pressure isn't important.
It feels like laying back and doing as little work as possible.
Well remember that hair I have issues with?
It's kinda long
and thick
and it NEEDS water pressure.
Not only is the shower lazy
it's started taunting me.
Yeah a little spit in the face every morning...
Literally.
When I turn the water off it shoots a nice strong burst of water at me before it turns off.
I know it's seriously cruel.
So today I yelled at it.
Yep, got in a fight with my shower.
Now if we wanted to analyze the situation I would say I'm probably more upset about that it's been over a week and I still don't remember it's going to do it.
Or it could be that I really hate my shower.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Goofy Goofs


I have had a lot of time lately to just enjoy my family.
Well some of the time we are enjoying and sometimes we are running around like crazies.
But no matter what we are doing I can't go a day without thinking about how grateful to have the family that I have. I've been having tailbone problems for about a month and it's really limited what I can do but Reed has been great about it even though it means more work for him. 
And when I see the kids playing together and getting along it just melts me. 
Yesterday Ava was asking me how to make the letter e. Before I could even say anything Braeden jumped in "Come to the chalkboard and I'll show you." When I went into the toy room later it was covered with letters that they had been writing together.
So to give you an idea of what I see on a regular basis I recorded them playing tonight. If you watch it 500 times in a row you'll get an idea of what my night was REALLY like.

I know they are seriously nuts!
 And because we can't forget the little man here's a little video of his new talent for our family that's not around here. Sorry you have to tilt your head. I'm not sure why I thought you could flip it.
video
I know I am seriously blessed!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ava's Turn

Well I'm a week late but here are the pictures of Ava's first day of preschool.




My mom made her backpack and it was a huge hit! She was so excited to go and begged and begged to leave the house early so she could get there. When I dropped her off she went right in and didn't care at all that she was leaving me. I even had trouble stealing a kiss before I left.

The second day of school she wanted me to take more pictures so here they are.
Sorry about the sideways photos. I've rotated them twice but it's just not sticking :(
So a week later she is just as excited to go to school as she was the first day.
Hopefully this week I will get past the sad feelings of being home with just Mason and enjoy all the things I can get done.