Thursday, July 28, 2011

Budding Artist

I just have to face it... just as Sierra is no longer content as a spectator in the kitchen, she is also insistent that she take part in crafts. In fact, she has started to ask to paint even when the other girls are not painting!

I forgot just how messy budding artists can be; now where in the world is my smock packed?

"Dot paints" are a little more to my liking these days. At least until I am done unpacking, (which is a good 4 - 6 weeks away), I prefer as few messes as possible. But, how can I resist those big brown eyes and adorable curls?

When I want the big girls to craft without little sister finding out what's going on, I have them work at the bar. Of course, our climber quickly figured out how to sit on her own bar stool, so giving her a bowl of fruit usually keeps her content. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mini Chcolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

We're back from Texas! Pictures are coming soon, I hope; lots to sort through. Can't wait to share our fun week! In the mean time, I am trying to get back into blogging mode by posting some of our return. This morning we made mini chocolate chip oatmeal muffins.

I love mini muffins because:
  1. I don't feel guilty giving the girls seconds (and thirds and fourths!)
  2. They're so cute for little tea parties, and
  3. I can bake them in my toaster oven and not heat up the giant oven on a warm summer day!

I have a new helper in the kitchen! Can't say I'm thrilled about it, to be totally honest. But, Sierra is thrilled and at least makes a cute picture. :)

Allison set her little tea party table in her room. So sweet!

The girls thoroughly enjoyed their muffins while I cautiously watched them and picked-up crumbs, (and pretended to drink tea... I wasn't a total party pooper!).

No, you don't eat the wrapper, silly Sierra! Oh, how I love my little girls!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

And, we're off!

Hey Friends! By the time you read this, we should be in the air on our way to Texas for a week! Before leaving, I came across two blog posts that caused me a little concern. The first was from a new blog I just discovered, (and fell in love with), called "Birthday Girl." She had these clever free printables to take with you on an airplane if your kid happens to be a screamer. (Eh-hem, yes I know a screamer -- SIERRA!) So clever and cute, but alas I didn't feel like going through the effort.

Next, I discovered that Apartment Therapy had tips for traveling on an airplane with a lap child. I was actually excited to gather some tips, but discovered they were geared more towards babies than my active toddler.

So, what are we doing? Bringing dvds, lollipops, and lots of prayers! Can't wait to let you know how it went. See you in a week!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Meet Little K

Before moving in, we often stalked our little cul de sac to pray over the home and glance around the neighborhood. I told the girls one day that I spotted a little girls' bike at our new next-door-neighbors' house, and they were thrilled! It turns out little K is a sweetie, and just 2 months younger than Allison. The day they met, the three girls were instant friends! Even Sierra points to her house and says her name, already!

Here the girls were playing "Go Fish," on the sidewalk while Triscuit kept watch. (Little K LOVES Triscuit, too!) Anyway, it is so fun having her as our neighbor. The girls are already invited to her tea party birthday and can't wait. Once again, we are so blessed to be here!


Look what came in the mail the other day! I was a little too excited to find this in my mail box. First of all, after throwing away so many magazines during the move, I realized I didn't need to continue to get this one... but my sweet, sweet husband surprised me and gave me a new subscription at our new home! This is truly the one magazine I read cover to cover. I am saving it for our plane ride Saturday, praying that our little screamer allows me a few minutes to enjoy it. (Please pray for our little turkey so that she doesn't make the whole plane crazy!) Anyway, amidst the boxes, chaos, and unfamiliarity of being in a new home, it was nice to have an "old familiar friend" arrive!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Better Late than Never?

With all the packing we had to do, and all the junk we got rid of, somehow these empty oatmeal boxes made the trip from our old house over here. I had saved them to make 4th of July drums, but didn't get around to them on the actual 4th of July. A few days later Allison asked what they were for and if she could make a craft -- when I told her the original plan, she decided it was still a good idea! So, she and Natalie spent the next hour making them on their own while I unpacked. Was it worth the effort to save them? Probably not; but I was happy for that free hour!

Breakfast Popovers

It's no secret that we love breakfast around here. One major benefit of home schooling is that mornings aren't as rushed, and we can find time for yummy breakfasts. (Of course, in my laziness I often resort to cereal, but since you don't want to read about that and it doesn't make me look as good, I'll just share our more "creative" breakfasts!)

This morning I wanted to find a way to use our fresh white peaches and strawberries. I don't have the gift of picking good peaches, so when we have an awesome batch I get very excited! I went the simple route; popovers with cool whip and fruit. The girls thought it was the best ever, and even Natalie ate peaches!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Random Thoughts and a House preview!

I should be sleeping... or unpacking the house, doing laundry, or packing for our trip to Texas in a few days. Instead, I am blogging. I think it's because I just got off the phone with the dear college friend that I get to see when we go to Texas in just a few days! As she pointed out, "7 girls 7 and under for 7 days!" I am so excited, I can't sleep... so here I am blogging! :) I just find it amazing the people God has put me in contact with, and SO blessed to be able to re-connect with such a wonderful woman of God.

I actually have a few different blog posts I want to get out before I go -- not sure if it will happen with all the packing that needs to take place, but I'll do my best. Just be fore-warned that this blog will be all about Texas for quite some time once we get back!

In the meantime, I decided to show you one sneak peak of our house. Remember this post when I asked you if I was crazy for painting my bedroom wall in so many colors? (My assumption is that you all thought I was crazy since I got no comments!) I was honestly a bit worried as well, but not anymore. I am super happy with how it turned out. Please ignore the laundry on the bed, as well as the fan on the floor and the random desk; we still have a long way to go in organizing! But, here is our master bedroom wall: (the rest of the room is the mellow cream color):

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Summer Fruit

There's just something about fruit in the summer that is irresistible. Combine that with the fact that I always crave fruit when pregnant, and you'll know just how often we eat fruit around here! Today I bought peaches, plums, pears, apples, and 2 kinds of melons. Daniel picked-up these cherries at Costco, and they are perfect! Can't wait to plant some more fruit trees around here!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Little Bit of This...

...And a little bit of that:

This girl is at a fun, fun stage... Language is starting to explode! Tonight we headed to Chick-Fil-A dressed as cows to get our free dinner. At dinner, she repeated our entire prayer. She also discovered that she could say, "three" today. (Before today she would count 1, 2, 4, 5) In bed after her nap she kept yelling, "Mama -- plleeeez -- stuck -- plleeeez -- stuck -- Mama!!!" Yesterday on our walk, I scolded Triscuit. She walked over to him and said, "No, no, NO Triskee... OKAY???? No, no, okay Triskee? Ok????"

So far these girls have been very clever at finding things to do. What a huge blessing! Today they "painted" the fountain with water.

And, these awesome geo blocks are always a hit!

Today they also made a tent out of wrapping paper, (which Sierra had already unroled much to my dismay), and played "school." Allison did a super job practicing the entire alphabet in lower case and capitals over and over. (I sure LOVE when they do school on their own.)

Of course, crafts are always still fun... More and more, I've noticed Allison reading on her own while Natalie draws or paints. Here is our little 4-year-old artist at work:

And, here is our 6-year-old reader finding yet another book:

Meanwhile, I'm proud to announce I emptied another 10 boxes today! Oh, the joy of empty boxes!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Move

It's hard to believe this is where we were just last Friday:

That was our old house... which is now completely empty! Did I mention that my husband decided to cancel the movers, and moved 85% of it by himself? Yes, he is crazy! Of course, he had three "helpers" in the moving van:

Here's a close-up for Grandma:

Now, just 4 days later, all of our stuff is here... somewhere... in some box... but we've still found some fun stuff to do!

Dot paints...
Small tub of water...

Dress-up with little sister...

Play dough with cousins...

And, of course, swimming in the pool that desperately needs cleaning. When it's this hot with little ones, nevermind a little dirt. By this weekend it should be cleaned, re-filled, and ready to go again!

Poor Triscuit just watched his ball for an hour before Daniel finally threw him in. He wants to love it, but is a scaredy-dog.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Finding Balance

Warning: This post may be super long because I am in a reflective mood.... or, it may be super short because I am totally wiped out! We'll see...

First of all, Happy 4th of July!!! I really didn't know if we were going to "celebrate" much. After all, there is unpacking, some more unpacking, and then some unpacking to do. (And perhaps some laundry and cleaning and organizing and.... well, you get the picture!)

But alas, I couldn't resist a little celebrating. Unpacking can wait! Though, I will admit, it was a tough decision! Daniel will be working the next 3 days, and not much can be done when he is gone and I am solo with the kids. But, that's why I titled this post, "Finding Balance." I think there needs to be a healthy balance between having fun and getting work done; especially with little kiddos!

So, Daniel made his wonderful American flag waffles for breakfast -- even if we couldn't find the box with vanilla, they were still yummy!

And, since the girls couldn't wait to jump in the pool, but Daniel still had to clean it, we used our handy storage box once again this morning. (There was plenty of swim time after lunch in the real pool, though!)

While the girls played, I worked on a little afternoon treat...

I can't remember where I saw these cones, but they were definitely a hit! I was lucky to find the sprinkles box just in time. Once again, I felt like I should be unpacking while the girls contentedly played... but I fought the thought and determined that making fun memories was more important.

As for any "real" fireworks, we once again had the girls throw some Pop-its."

We decided to keep it simple for dinner and headed to Souplantation. Natalie's eyes got so big when she found out where we were going that she declared it the best 4th of July ever! Afterward, we had to stop at the old house one last time. Somehow the clouds rolled in and it as a cool, beautiful evening. Despite having exhausted girls, we chatted with our old neighbors one last time, then decided to walk around the block one last time. Sierra was so excited, she ran much of the way declaring, "Walk, walk, walk!"

Ironically, I didn't feel sad one bit -- just excited about our future here. This place already feels like home. Tonight is night 5, and the girls happily went right down to sleep. They've had such a peace! Shortly after they crawled in bed, Daniel got them out to go see the fireworks from our guest room. We could see several shows at once, and it was pretty awesome! I took the picture above when it was pitch dark; hence Daniel's look of shock! Natalie repeated her comment from earlier. "See mom... I told you this was the best 4th of July ever!"

And she's right... it was pretty awesome! I do wish we could have invited friends, but our pool is actually pretty dirty still, so I want to wait until it is professionally cleaned. So, I will remember this 4th of July as a special family day where we said good-bye to our old place and felt at home in our new!

Ok, now I must go to bed. I am SO beat; wish me luck being on my own in this chaos with my 3 monkeys the next 3 days!

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