Tuesday, January 15, 2013

October 2012

Some of my 'on the side' projects of late have been Baby shower treats....

More Preschool....... Good Times!

Here are some projects Stella and I have been doing in Preschool. Most of them I found on legit preschool websites and blogs. I wish I had time to give credit for the ideas and put in links, but you can see by the frequency or should I say infrequency of my posts that time is one thing I don't have. We modified several of these ideas too. 

Daily Weather- Teller:

Melted Crayon Sun Catcher:

Confetti Rainy Window:

Rain Stick:

She randomly hammered about 30 nails into this packaging tube, poured in some popcorn kernels and then decorated the outside with felt, feathers foam and glitter. It sounds awesome when you turn it over!

Rainbow Collection Collage

First we went on a "Rainbow Treasure Hunt" to collect things for our collage. I tried to be really open minded about letting her attach anything she wanted, and only gave her size and color boundaries. The stuff she found was hilarious! (Everything from ear plugs to Barbie shoes.)  

Salt Dough Hand and Foot Imprints

I made this simple recipe so that Stella could make this Salt Dough all by herself, 
and learn how to follow a recipe/ directions.  Salt Dough is great for all kinds of projects!

After she put her hand and foot prints in the dough I made two holes in each, we baked and then she painted  them. I added a glossy coat to seal it and some ribbon through the holes to hang them on the wall. Finished product was so cute! There was extra dough, so I let Stella make her own idea for a sculpture, she pulled out a bunch of plastic beads and 'went to town.'

Raspberry Cupcakes

We did a '5 senses' unit and this was our 'taste' project. She was so proud!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Back to School

August was back to school month for us, although it didn't feel much like going back to my kids. They were all starting at new schools. It caught me a little off guard that they each had moments of trepidation leading up to that first day. It had been a while since we were the "new kids." But we made it through, and they are all three settled and doing brilliantly! Great schools and wonderful teachers.... what a relief!

Being a parent is so strange sometimes. I constantly find myself in the middle of opposing emotions..... so much excitement and anticipation for the young men and women they are shaping into, but at the same time..... so much reluctance to see them growing and changing so rapidly. I have this sense at times that I just want to dig my heels in the ground and make them stop. Freeze them in their current state. I guess it's good that I don't have that option and that my Father in Heaven knows best.

Audrey started the 5th grade loves her teacher, Mrs. Hodgins and her new school. She decided to run for Student government and gave the cutest speech in front of her whole school. She was elected and is now actively serving in ASB. She continues to read like crazy and is gearing up for the "Battle of the Books", (she won district medals the last two years.) Audrey is back in piano again and loving every moment of it, I never have to ask her to practice! Aside from reading  & piano, her free time is full of experimental paper doll designs and tons of delish baking!

Quinn is really well rounded going into 1st grade. I'm so proud of all the progress he made over the summer.... he's gotten the reading bug! Quinn has always been a little more left side of the brain than my other kids, he still enjoys logical concepts and picks up math really quickly. He was the quickest to make new friends and makes me smile when he lists his teacher Mrs. Heinz as one of those friends. (He really does think of her that way.... so cute!) Quinn gravitates toward electronics, so I'm sure he wishes that he could fill all the hours of his free time with computer and wii time, but he has also taken an extremely active interest in music. His favorite right now is anything Jack White, and so he is excitedly learning how to play the guitar. 
Quinn, like most 6/7 year old boys, also has a real affinity for Legos. I think the Lego collection is pretty darn impressive these days!

Joey has mastered the lockers and multi-class scheduling of middle school! He had a great fall season on the 7th grade soccer team and is loving loving loving his art class! His Deacon's quorum is nice and big and he was recently elected his Boy Scout Troop Patrol Leader. So many camp-outs!!! 

The thing that has impressed me the most about Joey is his growing Testimony of Jesus Christ and the gospel, and the personal efforts he has made to strengthen that Testimony lately. He's a good example to me of true confidence in one's beliefs and compassion to others, even when it isn't easy to have it.

I should mention however, Joey, in entering the 7th grade and has decided that he will now go by 'Joe'. Although I completely respect this decision, it has been a difficult change for me. He's being patient with me though.

Not but certainly not least, is our little Stella. Four is doing wonders for this girl! We knew that an active smart and feisty girl like Stella would need a really good preschool this year. But that was easier said than done. Very long story short....... Mom is teaching "Home-Preschool" this year! Yay!!!

I was so apprehensive at first! And very sure that she was going to be missing some crucial social training. But I could not be happier with our special little program. We got Stella her own desk, and supplies. I researched and researched and researched different curriculums, and we are on a serious roll now. So time consuming.... but so worth it! It is so amazing how much you can teach a child this age in a one-on-one setting. This definitely ended up being for the best, and who would have thought........ it's an absolute BLAST!
 Oh and don't you know...... we had our very own 'picture day' too!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Girl's Room

My girls both have August birthdays and being in the new house they decided that they would forego the "big  friend party" and let Mom do a Room Make-over! 
This was such a fun project! After I had the plan down-pat, we arranged for the girls to go have a special sleepover at Nana and Grandpa's and then me Joe, and three of my sisters pulled what's affectionately called, an 'all-nighter!' 
Seriously thank you to Joe and my sisters! I know the girls were ecstatic at the big reveal, but it felt so good for me, to plan a project like this and then have 24 hours completely dedicated to accomplishing it. So special for me to see my ideas on the page come to reality before my eyes and know how much it would mean to the two little girls we were creating it for! 

Tiffany Blue was the primary color and I added some soft pink and some splashes of bright fuschia to bring an obvious femininity to the room. The existing walls were cream, and so we used both a clean white and the cream for a sort of updated more juvenile version of shabby chic. I looked at about 100 different tree murals before I decided to go this direction. I loved the sophistication of the silhouette look but wanted something whimsical at the same time. Hence the leaves floating away. (I'm afraid my poor photography skills won't do this cute room justice.)

There were so many awesome little projects........like this cute lace framed earring holder.

... And these great prints Joe found. Audrey is a big Jane Austin fan!

Had to have this lamp when I saw it at Ikea for this re-purposed night table. This is perfect for Audrey's late night reading habits!

Gave some of the simple white furniture in the room a special touch with the hand painted knobs. (I did these a few days ahead of time.)

This little configuration hangs above Stella's bed. We wanted a little visual piece of each of their name-sake in the room somewhere. It's kind of hard to see from this pic, but the top is one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn photos and the bottom is Marlon Brando with "Stella" in Street Car Named Desire.  

The ribbon chandelier turned out so cute!

And the covered switch plate tied in some patterns we used subtly around the room. All in all a success!

July 2012

We found a new family hobby, hiking! I think our favorite hike this summer was "Rattle Snake Ridge." I was so impressed with Stella it was actually a pretty steep hike... but she did it! And then she ran most of the way down, I could barely keep up!

The view from the top....

We had some incredible weather this summer! These are just some sunny Sunday snap shots in the yard:

So much summer fun.... Lake Wilderness play dates, Lake Easton Camping, lots of trips to the falls, 4th of July picnics and don't forget the kick ball games!

This is what little boys are made of...... (check out those guns!!!)

And little girls.......... sugar and spice and everything nice!
 (Ya right! These three girls, all born within a year of each other, can get into worlds of trouble together!)

Gotta love cousins!

Townes just chillin in the shade!

Since so many of us were in town, my sisters and I decided to throw Kristina a baby shower for her soon to be here little boy, Miles. Audrey actually helped quite a bit, and was the one to pick the adorable theme.... "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
Eric Carle's illustrations make it so easy to turn this beloved children's book into a celebration for welcoming a new nephew! (Thanks for giving us another excuse to throw a party Tina!)

Not a shabby spread for trying to incorporate all the random food items mentioned in the book.

Clear glass apothecary dishes made the food the decor as well. What could be better?!?

Those are hanging paper lanterns over the fireplace, with some embellishments.

The favors were cute packaged pip-n-fill sugar cookies.
Time consuming but worth it!

Instead of lame baby shower games, we had all the guests choose an image from the book to turn into a handmade onesie for baby Miles. Iron-on interfacing made it do-able, but the careful hand stitching around the simple images is what made it so adorable! 

Audrey's first 5K. (With her friend Mikayla).  She did so awesome at the Mill Creek 2012 "Run of the Mill."
I see track in our future..... Great job Audrey!

Another angle of the falls..... they don't take a bad photo! Seriously people, the Garden of Eden lives!