Friday, September 30, 2011

Fast and Furious: Art Wall

I have been talking about an art wall for a really long time. I even linked some pictures awhile back of just hanging empty frames and rotating the art. Well, never happened.

So, after a great art session with Luke, I thought, what am I going to do with these 20 scribble art pictures. They are too precious to throw away... just yet. I mean, he was even naming them, like masterpieces. Because to him, they ARE!

And, telling him how great they were only made him want to draw more.

So, I thought, why not do what I did in my classroom. Teachers, well me, hate spending their own money on classroom stuff. So I would just make do with what I had available to me at the time.  Same thought went through my head today at home.

Poor Man's Art Wall:
Staple Gun
Paper Clips or Clothes Pins

Art to  Art Wall in less than 30 minutes, complete with hand painted sign! (I'm telling you it really was fast and furious)
Just tie a knot at one end, and staple it to the wall. I got out the level and had my husband helped me. String it the wherever you want it to end, and staple it up, and tie a knot. Pull it really tight and and one more staple. And then add a staple to the middle so it wont sag too bad.

And there you have it! Art Wall complete.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lunch ideas for Kids

I am going to start by saying, I am by no means the nutrition police.
And, if I am really honest, I ate cookies for breakfast.
Maybe even 4.
Oh gosh, if my husband is reading this, he is the nutrition police.

But I am really getting ready for the twins to stay at their preschool for 'friends and fun' which is extended hours. They eat lunch and take naps there.  Which has my brain thinking, "sew a nap mat" and "get a lunch box".

My brain is all over the place. I feel like raising 2 toddlers has given me ADD.

Anyways, back to the point of this post.

You can all picture those lunches you see kids with in the cafeteria at school. Everything pre portioned, prepackaged and ready to go.  It's easy, I get it. I need more easy in my life too.

Which brings me to lunchbots, I have been stalking them for about a year. I read about them on another blog, and she had posted some awesome pictures of all the great lunch ideas. I fell in love!  I've been waiting for a reason to buy them.  (I am sure there are some great cheaper BPA free alternatives out there, too.) But Amazon sells them cheap, and I am an amazon mom addict.

Our preschool teacher asked that you send lunch in one tupperware container because it is easier for the children. And after 7 years of lunch duty, I can understand why!

Lunch can be healthy, delicious, nutritious, and look fun all at the same time! I had no idea!! :)

Halloween Lunch ideas:

(And if you google image Candy Corn Snack Mix about a billion images pop up. Some look healthier than others.)
Pictures from
  • Bat shaped cheese slices, bat shaped toast, deli meat roll ups, fresh fruit, carrots, and gummy body parts!Yum!!!

  • Love this! String cheese mummy sandwiches, silicon cups with apple slices, cherry tomatoes, and lunch meat toothpicks! (but I am a realist, I will never line the box with lettuce, but look how cute it looks for the picture!)

  • Now this one, everyone could make! Ham and Cheese sandwich, carrots,  fresh fruit, and, rice crispy treats!

Breakfast for lunch:
  • I make the entire batter of pancakes and freeze the leftovers. Take a couple out and they will be ready for  lunch. (Try making different flavored ones they suggest on the side of the box. My boys love the apple cinnamon and pumpkin ones.)

picture from
The ideas are endless, I think that is why I love the tupperware idea. Just shove it all in there, pack it on an ice pack in the lunch bag, and you are set!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Perfect yet Ordinary Day

I loved this little photography assignment.
Seriously random, yet fun, never captured before moments.
Its like having my own reality tv show.

Anyways. MY day in pictures. I hope I don't bore you.

It really started at 5:30 when my husband's alarm goes off and he turns on the TV and listens to the news. I ignore all of it and fall quickly back to sleep until my alarm monitor goes off. Today it was 7:12. Not bad. 12 minutes longer than normal. I'll take it.

7:35- Cuddles during the Today Show with Mommy. This happens to be a commercial break with sheep, and they were practicing saying "baaaa" quickly after this picture.
 8:35- I was cleaning up breakfast (apple cinnamon pancakes) The boys were playing trains alone.

 9:35- I'm running late to Baby Boot Camp. (No Surprise there. Since having twins, I ALWAYS run late.)
 10:35- Bootcamp is over, I am trying to put on Hudson's shoes so he can run around with the other kids.

11:35- We stopped by ELP to check on Grammy and she gave the boys their first Blow Pop! They LOVED it.  (Luke cried and ran away fast when he thought I was dropping him off for school. Poor Buddy!)
12:35- No Picture: Boooo. Imagine me in the boys room trying to get Hudson to fall asleep and not wake up Luke.

1:35pm- There are eruptions of laughter coming from this door.

2:35pm- At the 99cents store. Seriously, the stuff they have now is amazing.
3:35- We are about to go swimming. Luke is outside eating a popsicle and Hudson is inside watching Yo Gabba Gabba. (I know, they watch some TV now. I knew it would happen sooner or later.)
4:35 pm- Done swimming for a bit, waiting for Daddy to come home to swim again. Snack Break.
5:35pm- Trying to get out the door to go to dinner with friends. I am holding Luke and took his pic.

6:35- I FORGOT to take a picture. BOOO. But just picture Hudson not happy during dinner. Luke sitting extremely quietly, Carter R. being a ninja and Mommy and Melissa chugging wine.

7:35-Dinner is over! Melissa and Luke about to run in the water!
8:35 Life is quiet again
9:35pm He wants me to scratch his back. Seriously Rita, I love you, but you ruined him.
10:35pm... lights out around here!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just an Ordinary Day

After crying through Sarah's post yesterday morning, I found myself crying as I ended my night last night.
Kids grow up too fast, and before you know it, our roles as mothers has changed.
Take a few minutes and watch this video:

(Nothing tragic happens, just a well written story about a mother and her love for her boys.)

Now, check out Baby Rabies post about everyone blogging their Ordinary Day.  I let so many 'ordinary' days pass without even getting out my camera, or writing down funny conversations... because they happen every single day. And I think this stage will never end. But sadly, it will. And before you know it, I will be like the lady in the video... only BOTH my boys will leave for college at the same time.  Sigh. I have baby fever.

Baby Rabies posted her day in 16 pictures.

I started taking pictures at 7:30 this morning, every hour on the hour. I will share my day... tomorrow.
It's pretty fun to look at all the things you do that are just ordinary, and see them in a whole new light!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mark 1:11

Even as a child, I've felt very close to my parents and related in so many ways to my mother early on.  We (my brothers and I) were loved unconditionally and confidently knew we were everything to them.  Innocently, we believed their lives began when we entered and that there were only 3 of us they could love like they do.

There was a day each year, that I was confused or jealous by a secrecy of my parent's emotions that I never could comprehend.   Nothing elaborate would happen on this day and sometimes it wouldn't be remembered until the next.  But I might walk into my parent's room to find my Mom folding laundry and crying or over hear Mom and Dad whispering then hug.  This day was unimportant to me.  By 5th or 6th grade we learned that there was a 4th one of "us" who never made it to play.  A sibling we knew nothing about.  A little baby that was probably not nearly as important as we were, who's life ended after the 12 week mark but before the 40 week gestation.

It was simple for us to believe then that God had "planned" for us to be here and that other little baby to not.

Well, my and John's lives forever changed in July 2008 when we lost our first little one very early in the game.  It was sad and we felt empty.  But learned we were ready for children and were hopeful for more.

Luckily, a year and a half later God called Carter into the world.  Carter has forever changed our lives and our hearts.  We love him unconditionally and our lives began again when he entered.  We became new people with his existence.

When we became pregnant with our next child, because of Carter, we knew the magnitude of how this baby was going to change our lives.  We understood what we were getting ourselves into and we couldn't wait.  It was a nervous excitement.  John and I now knew this little one has a spirit, a personality and a fire that is as individual as every person...and we could NOT wait to learn all about him!  We have been thrilled to love a new little being, a sibling for Carter, for the past 5 months.

On September 8, my mom's birthday, we went into our mid-pregnancy ultrasound to learn our child's sex but instead learned that the little one no longer had a heart beat.  In slow motion, the ultrasound technician explained the details, but all I could see was a picture of our baby up on the screen.  A real baby.  Little head, little hands.  Little feet.  The idea that we would never know that baby we could see on the screen the way we know Carter is devastating.  That is our child.  We are the parents.  There was an energy, a spirit, a personality there.  There was a heart beat.

When I think back to the careless, flirty days of dating John, I never would have imagined us to be the kind of people attending grief counseling and making decisions about our child's remains.  But it comes with the territory.  A grief counselor carefully explained every detail about our child's entrance into the open world and then options like a viewing, receiving mementos, autopsy, bodily donation, funeral services, mass burial, cremations, or private ceremony.

The little baby we saw up on that screen, is our child, our baby.  We are Mama and Dada.  Knowing these two thoughts, guided us through the decisions.  Making exactly the opposite decisions I might have imagined chosen in those flirty days of dating.  We decided we wanted to know as much about that little baby on the screen as we could.  Many of the options were "if this....then you can..." kind of options.  We asked them IF possible to try and find out the gender, IF possible we'd like to see our child, IF possible we'd like footprints, IF possible we'd like an autopsy, IF possible we'd like our child's remains handled individually and IF possible we'd like to obtain the ashes for a private ceremony.

Thankfully, because I'm not that emotionally strong, I do not remember our child's entrance.  But we were over the moon to learn that our angel baby is a BOY!  I never would have thought through the sadness, learning HE is our SON could bring joy...but it did!  We hugged and even celebrated!!  Knowing that huge piece of information brings such peace to our minds.  We have another son!  We have another son!!

The nurses were very supportive of our wish to view our son.  This wish however, was circumstantial, depending on nurse and counselor's viewing and collaboration.  The wish was respectfully declined.  We still have that little face you dream of during pregnancy in our heads and know he is just precious!

Another bit we do know about our son is he has perfect feet!

How can anyone doubt the work of God when you see something so detailed, tiny and perfect?  

We asked for four prints.  Each for Mommy, Daddy, and both sets of Grandparents.

The final pieces to our son's Earthly existence will be his memorial service.  We have spoken with a funeral home to arrange the details of his little body...with perfect feet.  We look forward to rejoicing over his life and existence and can't wait for our full house in Heaven.

Being a new parent, I am constantly amazed by the realizations that present themselves to me about my own parents growing up.  A new understanding of their unconditional love, the constant desire to see their children safe and happy, and how their hearts grew and made more room for each of their children...even the ones not known on Earth.

"You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."  -Mark 1:11

We are deeply in love with our newest son.  He will forever be in our thoughts, hearts and prayers.


(Thank you to Suzie for keeping our blog going as I'm taking a bloggy break.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Arts and Crafts Organization

Some of the best ideas come from other people! I think that is what I love most about reading tons of blogs. I wake up every morning and check my Google Reader, and get so excited to see what is going on with friends, family and even strangers with AMAZING talents. I read all kinds: teaching, fashion, shopping, DIY, baking, cooking, party planning blogs... the possibilities are endless!

Jenae, from I Can Teach My Child, shared pictures of her over the door organizer. I loved it, and thought I would keep my eyes out for one.

Well, the next week, Jenae had this post!
1. It was a sale.
2. It was organization.
3. It was something I could put all the 'stuff' that had been cluttering our hall closet shelves.

I LOVED it. I Bought one. It just came today!
This picture does not do it justice. 
Check out those other links!

Add I Can Teach My Child to your reader! It will not disappoint!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fab Fall Ideas

Don't forget to take a look back at some of these ideas!

September 26th is Johnny Appleseed Day 

Apple Art

Making Applesauce and growing seeds

Nature Art

Leaf Baggie Books

Finger Plays

And don't forget about the Football footprint!!

More fun coming soon!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Extreme Makeover: Playroom Edition

Not really!! I just cleaned it out today during nap time. I took a box of toys to the little boy a few houses down, and saved a couple that the boys really loved.

But with their 2nd birthday quickly approaching and then Christmas around the corner, the room just needed some organizing.

This is nothing new or original.  And I'm betting everyone else has already done this, it just took me this long to get on the bandwagon....
Are you ready for it?


I know, classic. My husband laughs knowing, the toys will be thrown out in 2.5 seconds after they wake up. But we will just keep practicing how to clean them up.  I hope.

Start with a clean room!

Then take pictures of your drawers. Upload to Picnik, and add text! (I like to use a font that is thick, but has lowercase letters.)
Print on cardstock, and I told my printer to print 6 pictures to a page, so they would be smaller.

Cut, and cover with packing tape.

I left one blank, because it is like the 'junk' drawer. Whatever has no home ends up here!
This toy bin is from Ikea in case anyone is curious.  Cheap, but does the job.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

All about me books

Our first school project was to make a book all about your child for the class library!

I had a little too much fun.
I think I have been waiting to be on this side of the making projects for YEARS!

It was so easy, and the boys LOVE reading their books to anyone who will sit and listen!  But I think it would be great to do and put in your own reading library at home! How fun would it be to add others too!! You could have a book all about Mommy, or Grammy, or Daddy!

Supplies needed:
One file folder cut in half

I let the boys decorate the inside of their 'books' with markers and stickers. Luke went to town with the stickers, Hudson choose not to use any. I love how they are so different, even artistically!

AND let me share the best kept secret. Although, it isn't a secret. I just didn't know about how awesome it was until 6 months ago.
Upload your pictures, click create collage, and then you can add words, stickers, frames, etc! It is so easy, and you won't waste photo paper printing out all those separate pictures!  (AND FREE)

For the back... Handprint Owls.  (They are in the Owl Room at school!!)
However, I forgot to take a picture after I added the hands for wings! But just place each hand on the side pointing down slightly.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Popcorn for a Rainy Day!

What do you do on a rainy day, when your belongings have STILL not arrived??  

Make Popcorn!!

We made it the old fashioned way, on the stove, so Carter could see it in action!  
Using all of his 5 Senses!

You SEE it.
HEAR it.

Per my mom's tradition, you MUST listen to this song while making popcorn:

It's tradition!

Then you GLUE it!  

Do not be alarmed by my son's natural artistic ability. 
 We've been working on this masterpiece for a whole two days.  Dot Art first, then glue.  He found paperclips and is obsessed, that was his own thoughtful contribution.

Today??  Maybe we'll add some watercolor!

P.S.  Here is the recipe, just in case:
On the Stove Popcorn
1 Table Spoon of Oil
Enough kernels to make just 1 layer on the bottom of the pan.
Medium heat.

(Carter 19 months.)

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