Thursday, April 29, 2010

52 Week Challenge

Week 23 of 52

Forever In Blue Jeans

Last weekend we went to Grammy and Papa's house. This means the kids had a wonderful time, and I am easily in a few pictures because my mother-in-law LOVES to take pictures. Thanks Jane!

So here are a few of me and my girls hanging out.

I love Ella's smile in this one. :)

And Olivia's coy little look in this one. :)

My big kids and I waiting for a table at Pizza Hut after church.

Thanks for the pictures Jane!
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom!

We have those foam letters and numbers that you can put in the bath. We also just got some bathtub crayons (I got both the letters and the crayons at Target, but I am sure they are available in many stores). I pulled them both out last night and decided to make a coconut tree on the side of the tub with the crayons. The kids had fun saying the different letters going up the coconut tree. Aidan has the book pretty well memorized so he could say a lot of it. But the highlight of the fun was the excited "Chicka chicka, BOOM BOOM" and crashing all the letters back in to the water. :)

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What to do with old hardware

My friends were doing a little spring cleaning the other day and came across an old computer. Instead of just hauling it off to wherever you are supposed to take old computers to, they handed it over to their kids. I am told that my little friend Jayden here spent over two hours with some tools taking apart every little bit of that computer. Not a single screw was left in it when he was finished.

What fun! What a great fine motor workout! Practice with tools! Problem solving! And if your children work together at it - Teamwork!

I especially love that he is wearing his hard hat, gloves, and "safety goggles" a.k.a. sunglasses. :) Thanks for sharing your project with us Jayden!

Don't have an old computer laying around, how about a phone, keyboard? Anything that you have no use for anymore that can be taken apart - guaranteed to be A LOT of fun for your kiddo!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We Are Beautiful!

Kim over at Mom Tried It is hosting a blog hop today to help spread the word to all women that WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!

So many people have such a negative self image. I struggle with this myself. I have many things about my body that I am unhappy with. I used to be pretty athletic, but being pregnant with or nursing a baby for all but 5 months of the past 5 1/2 years has taken a toll on this poor body of mine.

I am not as brave as Kim to take a picture in my swimsuit, but there are two body parts in particular that are not my favorite, but they are a part of me, so they are beautiful.

While I was pregnant with my first child, I never ended up with any stretch marks or anything. While I was pregnant with my second and third my legs began hurting and I sat helpless as spider and varicose veins spread across both my legs. I wore prescription strength support stocking to help cut down on the pain a little, but they weren't all that helpful (plus, imagine being 8-9 months pregnant and bending and trying to tug on the tightest pantyhose imaginable!). Anyway, after the girls were born the pain of the varicose veins did subside (thank goodness!) but the veins are still there sticking out and spreading across my legs. Not the most attractive things in the world, but really, whenever I look at them I think about being pregnant with the girls and how lucky I am to have such beautiful, healthy little children in my life!

(Sorry, I couldn't get a better picture, they run all down my leg and all around the arch on my foot.)

The second is a birthmark I have on my face. Honestly, it used to bother me A LOT! When I was a teenager we even tried to have it lasered off. But after a couple very painful laser treatments, it did fade a little, but is still there. A hard thing for a teenager, but I am a grown woman now, and who really cares if I had a little pinkish splotch on my cheek. I used to always wear my hair down and part it so the hair could cover that side of my face. But now, almost every day my hair ends up in a ponytail. It is just a part of me and it is BEAUTIFUL!

I agree with Kim that we all need to start believing that we are beautiful, "imperfections" and all! We are the role models for our children. If we say negative things about ourselves, even if we don't think the children hear us, they do. I have two girls and I certainly don't want them to ever think they are not beautiful people! I want all three of my children to know what wonderful, beautiful little people they are.

As kind of a side note, while I was trying to think how I wanted to write this post I read some posts that were in my Google Reader, and saw Teach Mama's post for today: Quick trick: the power of positive talk. Go on over and read it. Just a great reminder that not only do we need to speak/think more positively about ourselves, but of course about our children. If they hear you say negative things about them, they may just live up to those thoughts. But think what could happen if you praise them for their accomplishments, all they do, and just for being their wonderful selves. They will take all that praise in, feel so good about themselves, and want to live up to those expectations you have for them. So seriously, go on over to Teach Mama to read some tips on how we can help speak more positively to our children as well!

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52 Week Challenge

Week 22 of 52

Forever In Blue Jeans

Yesterday my husband had to work all day and then had an evening thing as well. Which meant I was alone with the kiddos from 7:00 am to bedtime. We had a good day, but needed a little something in the afternoon to really break up the day and make sure we all were still happy. Since it was such a beautiful day we decided to head to the zoo. I snagged a couple of self-portraits of me and Olivia.

And this was such a cute picture of the three of them I wanted to share it too. :) Very hard to get all three smiling and looking at the camera at the same time, so I will take two out of three! :)
This is one of our favorite places to take pictures at our zoo. It is overlooking the sea lion exhibit and is the spot that a nice woman stopped and took our picture last year on my son's birthday and sparked my pay-it-forward challenge!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shuttle landed!

Just an FYI for anyone that is interested. Space Shuttle Discovery landed this morning in Florida. You can see video of the landing here. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Space Shuttle

As you may know, the space shuttle Discovery was supposed to land today. But because of weather conditions in Florida the landing was postponed until Tuesday morning. This shuttle landing is to be the last time the space shuttle's landing approach crosses the United States on its way to land at the Kennedy Space Center. You can read more about why that is here.

I was excited because the first landing path was supposed to bring the shuttle across part of Iowa at 7:30 this morning, so I thought maybe we would be able to hear the sonic boom as it went by. But since it was cancelled today, the new landing paths do not go across my area. I was hoping to be able to share that with Aidan since he is so into space right now, but we will settle for watching video of the landing. But if you are at all interested - check out the possible landing paths and see if you might be able to hear or see the shuttle. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stir stick sorting

I know I have seen this idea around on other blogs before, sorry I can't remember where. I just saved a parmesan cheese bottle and lid after it was empty. And I saw some drink stir sticks on clearance the other day at Target so I grabbed them. They looked fun and colorful and I thought there would be something I could use them for.

So I had Ella practice some fine motor skills by putting the sticks in the little holes of the shaker. We also practiced colors by having her tell me the color of the stick before the dropped it in. Even unscrewing the lid to do it all over again was a good thing to practice.

Aidan wanted a project he could do with the stir sticks as well. So I asked him if he could figure out how to put them together to make a "T". He was excited and kept asking me to have him make different letters.

Of course you don't need to have stir sticks; pipe cleaners, tooth picks, cotton swabs, etc. would be just as fun to use!
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Friday Finds

Just some fun things I saw this week, I thought you might like them too!

Long distance date with grandma - what a fabulous idea!

Earth Day craft - we will be doing this tomorrow and probably be making other planets too, Aidan will love that - he has been begging me to find him more projects on space!

Dry erase activity book - Ummm - GENIUS! I have some of his handwriting workbooks put in sheet protectors so he can reuse them, but I love this idea of making a fun activity book in a scrapbook album. She has many printables available that she put in her book also!

Monkey Bread recipe - I usually make mine differently, but these look so yummy I want to try it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun with boxes: Part 2

We also used the boxes as giant building blocks to make forts, castles, etc. This particular fort had the assistance of the couch, coffee table and some floor cushions, but we have made many stand alone box forts (which of course I always forgot to take a picture of).

Think they like it? :)

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fun with Boxes: Part 1

We have a lot of empty boxes around our houses. A LOT! So until we can get them to someone else who needs moving boxes, we are having a little fun with some of them!

Our first project was to make a choo choo train. I wanted to let the kids paint the boxes, but alas, could not find our box of paints! :( So we just used markers instead. Not quite as fun, but it will do. Because really, that was only part of the fun. The part they really enjoyed was playing with the boxes as a train. They would sit in the boxes, "drive" it to the next station, rearrange the cars/boxes. Just had so much fun with it.

I'll share some more fun we have done with our moving boxes this week. I know not everyone is going to have a ton of moving boxes around to play with, but maybe you could save a diaper box or maybe you had a package delivered to your home and you could save the box. Or just grab a couple from your grocery store as they are stocking the shelves! :)
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

52 Week Challenge

Week 21 of 52

Forever In Blue Jeans

Last weekend our baby girl learned to climb the stairs. What a big girl! Our old house was a split level, so when the older two learned the stairs they only had 6 stairs to go up. Our new house is a two story, so poor little Olivia had to climb 16 stairs. About half-way up she started fussing and looking at us like, "Would you people please just pick me up!" But she had her cheerleaders at the top of the stairs:

She made it!

All that hard work deserved some mommy loves. :)

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Drying artwork

For playgroup today, my friend Kim had all kinds of fun activities set out for the kids. The most popular were all the art supplies she had out on her table. With so many masterpieces being made, she went and pulled out this nifty little guy she found at IKEA. By the way, if you have an IKEA near you - I am soooooooooo jealous! (we are planning a trip up to Minnesota just so we can go to IKEA!)

Anyway, back to her IKEA find. It is of course supposed to help dry clothes, but how cute is that little octopus for drying kids artwork?! I think it is perfect and want one of my own! :)

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