Saturday, November 24, 2012

Operation Christmas Lights

Last year, the boys requested that we put Christmas lights on the outside of our house.  So after Christmas, B and the boys went out shopping and bought some lights.  Today they put them up.  This is our first time ever putting lights on our house.  I think it may turn into a new tradition.

B and the boys begin hanging lights while the girls supervise.

The reveal!

And the glow on the porch is...lights on our rocking chairs courtesy of J.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


J lost his fourth tooth this week.  As you can see, his new teeth are already popping through.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer, Where did you go?

So Summer break has come and gone and all I can think is "Where did it go?"  As you may recall, the boys and I made a ginormous Summer Bucket List.  I'd like to say that our summer flew by as we busily accomplished all the great adventures on that list.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  We spent lots of time doing very ordinary things like reading books, watching TV, and swimming at our neighborhood pools.  We did have some adventures including swim lessons, a trip to the beach with my family, a week of drama camp for J, a visit from our friends in Austin, a week of soccer camp for both boys, and a two week visit that included time with family in both Virginia and Ohio.  In between these bigger adventures, we did have some fun doing a little painting and t-shirt making and a few other crafty adventures.  I even did a little tiny bit of knitting, but not much--just wasn't inspired to knit this summer.  But mostly, we just hung out.  Hopefully soon I'll catch up on my photo uploading and will share a few here.  Until then, happy 1st day of school!

J's First Day of 1st Grade

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Bucket List

Here's the "bucket list" that the boys and I made for this summer.  Do you think we'll do them all?

And yes, that is a dog hair on three of the four lists.  Got to love the perks of pet ownership :).

Monday, June 11, 2012

What we've been up to...

J had his Kindergarten performance at school on May 10th.  The boys were weeds and the girls were flowers.

Mother's Day Tea with N at preschool
A Mother's Day photo shoot with N and J at the park

A bonus photo of silliness with B and the boys

We also threw N's 4th birthday party (water balloons at the park) that day.

Later that week, we celebrated with M&M and sprinkle cookies at school on N's actual birthday.
The next day was N's last day of school and another party. (No picture)

That weekend, N had his last Soccer Shots class with Coach Ducky.

The next week J had his end of season soccer party and got his trophy.
That week J's class performed "Caribbean Amphibian" at the school morning assembly.

Memorial Day weekend we went on our first family camping trip.  We went fishing and I caught a fish.

The boys were very excited about sleeping in a tent.

The next week was J's last week of Kindergarten.  Here he is on his last day of school.

A little bit of beginning of summer awesomeness :).

Right after school ended, we began swim lessons.
And I got to go out with these two wonderful ladies to celebrate Kim's birthday!  Great times!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

WIP: Holl sweater

So I am still knitting--just not very often. I finished knitting the body of Holl, a dolman-sleeve sweater for myself, around Easter. It is knit from the bottom of the front up to the neckline and then back down to the bottom of the back. After putting it in the "I don't feel like dealing with that pile" for a few days, I bit the bullet and started seaming. I don't mind seaming stockinette stitch, but this sweater is almost all reverse stockinette--and that is not as much fun for me because this is the first time I've really had to do it--so I'm not very good at it. It took me several nights of seaming and I don't love my seams, but this sweater is seamed and now just needs the rest of the sleeves knit. I am VERY happy with the fit and am excited to wear this next fall/winter. Just thought I'd share my progress. Please excuse the cruddy photo complete with a dirty mirror, lovely workout pants, a bad hair day and a little cutie peaking in.

Happy knitting, everyone! So what are you knitting these days? I'd love to get some inspiration for future projects.

This is SO Texas...

Pony Pictures.

Yes, last week someone came to N's preschool, dressed him in chaps, vest and cowboy hat, put him on a pony and took his picture. He also got a free pony ride.

That is SO Texas!

Just had to share my little cowboy.
He looks like he's ready to ride off into the sunset, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Six words

Just read this great blogpost and had to share a link. Go. Read it. It's that good!

One of the great things about Texas...

Is that our neighborhood pool opens in mid-April and stays open until mid-October. This year the pool opened on Saturday. It was cloudy and rainy this weekend so we waited until yesterday afternoon to head to the pool for the first time this season.

The air was warm (70s and sunny), but the water was still cold.

Some friends from the neighborhood joined us and we had a blast. J even swam across the big pool a few times with his noodle. He also had fun diving for items in the baby pool.
N enjoyed the splashpad and shooting people with his water shooter. However, with 0% body fat, he got cold quickly and eventually decided just to snuggle under his towel while soaking in some sunbeams.

Happy Spring, everyone!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Knitting WIP

I know I haven't blogged about it recently, but I am still knitting. A few weeks ago, I finished knitting this sweater for J. I still need to attach the snap tape.

I am currently knitting this dolman sleeve sweater for me. The pattern is Holl by Kirsten Johnstone.
Will blog more about these soon (I hope).

Zoo Trip with Grandma and Grandpa

B's parents came to visit to celebrate birthdays and enjoy time with the boys. As part of their visit, we ventured to the zoo. Here are a few of my favorite memories/pics from the zoo trip:

N on the ostrich on the carousel:

The boys love this cool coin donation area in the reptile house. They convinced Grandma to donate some coins:

Another of the boys' current favorites: the underground tunnel and domes in the Underzone in the Children's Zoo:
This is one of the animals in the area around the domes. He's been very friendly to visitors our last two visits:

Cowboy N in the children's zoo:
Cowboy J in the children's zoo. Yee haw!:

The rhino because I think he's so cute:

The koalas were both asleep, but at least they were facing the glass:

Riding the monorail with Grandma and Grandpa:


Both boys are now into their soccer programs. J's team is still losing most of their games, but the boys are improving. Here's J about to kick the ball back into play.

N started his soccer program on March 24th. Here's a few photos (N's in the blue Cookie Monster shirt):
Got to love the famous "elbow stop" move.

Happy Spring sports, everyone!

A Little Easter Craftiness

I saw these fun yarn eggs on Pinterest and immediately thought they'd make a fun wreath. So I made a BUNCH using yarn in my stash (all leftover from other projects). They got better over time and I eventually picked my favorites to make this wreath. To make the wreath, I connected the eggs with a bit of glue and then reinforced the wreath by putting two rounds of clear fishing line through the middle of the eggs (to help hold the round wreath shape). To make the eggs, see the tutorial on the original post. Make sure you follow the directions to wipe off the excess glue before you wrap the yarn or they won't look as good. I used around 25 feet of yarn per egg. I felt the wreath needed a little something extra so I found the cute little birds at The Dollar Tree.

Happy almost Easter, everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Party time! Star Wars Edition

Back around Christmas, J asked if he could have a Star Wars-themed birthday party. This gave me lots of time to plan and prepare. I can honestly say that this party was a lot of fun for me. J, at that time, mainly knew about Star Wars because of the Star Wars Legos so that's where I started my planning. Right after Christmas, I went to the Lego store to check out their clearance items. I found some great Lego Star Wars Magnet sets (3 mini-figure magnets on clearance for $3.49) and some Lego Star Wars key chains on clearance for $0.98. I bought 4 packs of magnets and 10 key chains. Then I started collecting other little goodies as I saw them. Next, I went on Pinterest for inspiration. So many great ideas out there. This is what I ended up doing.

I let J invite 8 friends from his class. Five ended up being able to attend. So with J and N, we had 7 children which was perfect. The children watched part of a Star Wars movie while waiting for everyone to arrive.

Here is everyone waiting for the last child to arrive:

Our first game was a light saber building contest. I built 3 light saber bases out of black and gray Duplo blocks and gave each team a base. Then I put a pile of red, blue and green square Duplo blocks in between the three teams (I precounted out these blocks so we had an equal number of each color.) They then raced to build their light saber before the other teams.This was a really simple game, but they seemed to enjoy it. It was a quick way to get everyone involved in the party. We picked teams by letting each of the older children pick a "card" and then finding the person with a matching card. The cards were actually holographic Star Wars Valentines that I got on clearance for $0.10. N was a bonus member of the blue team.

Our next game was pin the light saber on Yoda. I saw this idea on Pinterest, but it was originally from this blog. We found a picture of Yoda from one of our coloring books and enlarged it at the copy store. Then we simply cut it out, colored it in, and glued it to a piece of posterboard. I found a sleep mask and J decorated it with Star Wars stickers. The light sabers were cut out of extra large post-its (from the sticky strip--so they stuck easily).
After the "pinner" got blindfolded, we spun them three times while the children said, "Turn, turn, turn. May the force be with you." They thought that was pretty funny and it kept everyone involved.

Our next game was a punchbox. This is an idea I first saw on Tip Junkie. It's an alternative to doing a pinata. You take a display board and cut circles out of it. Then you glue tissue paper over the hole (from the backside so the front looks pretty). Then you put some goodies (I did a mini Star Wars fruit roll-up and two pieces of candy) into a paper bag. Cut the top of the paper bag off to make it shorter, and then tape the paper bag over the tissue paper covering the hole. Then the children simply pick a hole, punch through the tissue paper and get their goodies. I forgot to take a before picture, but here is a picture of J punching the board.
Here's the front of the punchbox after it's been punched:
Here's a picture of the back so you can see how it is done:
The punchbox went really fast, but the children seemed to really enjoy it. N's already requested that we do it again at his birthday party.

To get more info about making a punchbox, there are tutorials here and here.

Next, we did a scavenger hunt. I had rounded up a few different goodies and wanted a fun way to give them to the children--versus just handing the treats to them in a bag at the end of the party. I gave each child a brown paper bag with his or her name on it and read the first clue. Each clue started with a description of their mission as Jedis in training. The second part was a clue to where to go next. Each stop had a brown bag with a treat for each child and a new clue.

The first clue:

The first goodie (a Star Wars pencil with Qui-Gon Jinn--leftover from J's Valentine's) and the second clue:
The second goodie (a glow bracelet "light saber") and the third clue:
The children loved running up and down the stairs to get from clue to clue. They really got into the scavenger hunt!

The third goodie (a pixie stick "light saber") and the fourth clue:
The fourth goodie (a Bossk Lego key chain) and the fifth clue:
The final stop (black playdough and glitter to make galaxy dough).

The end of the scavenger hunt led us to the makings for our next activity--making galaxy dough. This was another idea I found on Pinterest. I followed the playdough recipe here. This was my first time making playdough and I can't say that it turned out great. It was too sticky at first and so I added more flour. Then it was too crumbly so I added oil. The consistency turned out okay, but despite my use of black food coloring--it turned out a bit more like a dark forest green. Not the best playdough and not the best activity. The children seemed to enjoy the idea of it, but not so much actually working the glitter into their playdough. J didn't like it because it was messy. Oh well.

At this point we cleared off the table and served cupcakes, pretzel rods with colored icing (light saber-esque) and juice drinks.
I used the clearance Lego Star Wars magnets as cupcake toppers. I think they looked right cute and the children were excited to get to take them home. B was kind enough to make the cupcakes and icing--white cupcakes with chocolate icing.

After we were done with the cupcakes and pretzels. It was time for these:
I had made a light saber for each child out of a pool noodle. I saw these first on Pinterest too (from here). These were so easy and so inexpensive and I love how fun and soft they are. I simple cut each pool noodle ($1 at Dollar Tree) in half with a serrated knife. Then I covered the cut end with two smaller pieces of duct tape. Then I wrapped the duct tape (I chose the shinier "Chrome" finish) around the pool noodle for a total of 4 rows. Then I used black electrical tape (2 rolls for $1 at Dollar Tree) to add the details. I did the four vertical stripes and then added the horizontal bands at the top and bottom of the duct tape. I think they turned out great and the children LOVED playing with them in the backyard. The parents appreciated how soft and safe they were. Lots of "fighting" and no injuries.
So that was J's Star Wars birthday party. It was great fun! Thanks for reading this giant post. I appreciate your dedication. Happy Monday, everyone! May the force be with you :).