Thursday, December 30, 2010

Snow Fun!

Christmas Eve brought another blanket of snow to The Grove, it also brought a rather long trip back from Indiana. All the way home (all 4 1/2 hours of it) I thought about how mad I was at the fact it was snowing. I know, I was probably the only one, but after a delightful day of celebrating our Savior's birth we decided to venture out in the snow on the 26th. We took Lylah out to our farm, that happens to be for sale if anyone is interested ;), and found the perfect hill for Lylah's first sledding experience. To say she liked it was an understatement. She squealed and screamed with delight each time we slid down. Once we reached the bottom of the hill, she would promptly sign and say "more", well right after she ate a handful of snow.

We had so much fun that day that Lylah asked to go outside the next day and play in the "no" as she calls it. A lot of the snow had melted and she wanted to ride her push bike. She rode and rode it. After our long ride she took a break in her new rocking chair from our good buddies. Once she started to eat some "no" I gathered some up and we went inside for some "cooking". Lylah LOVED snow cream!! She kept taste testing it while we were making it, and then when it was finished she ate it all (I only helped a little) and cried when it was gone! We will definitely have to make more next time it snows!

Our final fun in the snow happened with Bebe, Poppy, Meme, and Bella!! First we took a walk and Lylah rode her push bike again. When we finished our walk we borrowed my neighbors sled. It is perfect for babies/toddlers. It sits up off the snow and has a back rest. Lylah and Bella had fun riding while Poppy and Phoebe pulled!!

So all in all the snow that I was hating on Christmas Even ended up being triple fun!! And we learned that our lil' lady is a real snow sweetie!!
What about you? Did you have any fun or not so fun snow adventures??

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bath Crayons

One of the best Christmas purchases I made turned out to be Crayola bath crayons. I wondered if Lylah would be able to use them, but the colors are very bold and show up easily even when her grip is not real strong. She LOVED them. She just kept coloring and every once in a while would say "Yay!" and keep coloring. She would look real close at her art and say "ooooo". She did not want any of the crayons in the water or out of her hands for that matter. Anytime I would try to sit one down, she would say "uh oh". Also, they were super easy to wash off so she'll be able to use them more often. In fact the only bad thing is trying to pry them out of her hand when bath time is over!!


Crafts make me happy, but that really is no secret. When something I craft helps add to someones special day or moment it is even more fun for me!! That is where my banner addiction comes in. Banners are different then hair clips and sewing projects though, in that I can't make them over and over again for Lylah. Sooooo, I'm thankful when someone asks me to make one for them!!! Here is a peek at the latest banner I've been working on:

There are actually two banners. The theme is Mickey and I was really pleased at how the "2nd" block turned out!! I liked it so much that I decided to duplicate that idea for the names banner end pieces.
Thanks for letting me share!! I have a baby shower banner and more birthday banners coming up so I'm sure this won't be the last banner post you get!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lylah's winter bento

Happy winter from Lylah's lunchbox!!

Snowman sandwich with dried cranberry buttons, cheese nose, fruit leather eyes, Cheetos arms and veggie crisp hat.

Bananas with cute snowmen food picks.

Snowballs: yogurt covered raisens.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Countdown is On...Update

At the beginning of the month I posted about our Advent devotion and tree. Now that the countdown is nearing its end I thought I would update about all we have been up to. First of all Lylah still loves the advent candles. In fact tonight when Nathan went upstairs after dinner instead of going right into our devotion time I thought Lylah was going to hyperventilate. She kept yelling "daaaaaddyyyyyyyy" and then blowing like crazy. It was too funny. Anyway it has been a sweet time as a family, obviously Lylah doesn't yet comprehend the actual devotion, but we are excited to watch her understanding grow as we continue this tradition each year.

The activities we have been doing with the devotion have been going very well too. Here are some of the highlights:We decorated the Christmas tree. Highlight: going out to the sidewalk together to look at the tree. (Nathan and I have been doing this since we moved to the Grove)

We watched the parade in the Grove with some great friends. Highlight: Lylah really thought the whole parade was for HER!

We made sugar cookies (break n bake). Highlight: Anytime Lylah helps in the kitchen is a highlight. She loves to taste test!!

We went to "A Walk Through Bethleham". Highlight: that we got to go! We loved it, and the weather was icky the rest of the weekend so we were thankful that we didn't miss out on this little gem! Bonus: It was fun watching Lylah give kisses to baby Jesus and hearing her say "heehaw" most of the night!

We made the trek to Nashville to check out the lights at the Hotel. Highlight: Hanging out with some dear friends that we don't see nearly enough!

One other favorite activity was taking Christmas candies to our some of our neighbors. What a great time to hang out and share the reason for this special season. Now there were also nights when things didn't go as planned for one reason or another and we didn't do a specific activity. For instance, tonight we weren't feeling well so we just hung out, but really isn't that one of the points of this tradition?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Easy chicken Parmesan for your toddler

Lylah eats mostly what we eat, but there are occasional meals that are to spicy. Anyway the other night we were having chili and had accidentally bought all diced tomatoes with green chillis SO I had to come up with something different for our lil' lady.

I used some of the noodles from our chili. I Made some chicken nuggets-Tyson has a good kind that is 100% chicken. Then I poured a bit of sauce over the noodles and topped with the chicken and cheese. Lylah ate it all up and it was easy-peasy!!! Only bummer is I didn't get a picture of her spaghetti face!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The first snow of the season

The Grove is covered in a thick (for our area anyway) blanket of snow. It's Monday and I've spent the day snugglin' our lil' lady; yes the first snow also brought the first snow day! Yesterday we ventured out back to play for a bit. We all bundled up. Lylah was in a big coat that actually won't fit her right until next winter, a scarf her "Meme" made her, a sweet hat I forgot about buying last year, and socks for gloves. She did fine with walking in the snow, but sitting on the sled was another story- all the clothes kept making her topple over. She swung in her swing, but signing "finished" was a hoot because she couldn't bring her arms together because of the big coat! We played for probably 10 minutes and then we were all ready to go warm up. Today we have been enjoying the snow from inside. We sat on her toy box for a while this morning looking at the snow and "talking". We have read "A Snowy Day" and a snowman book that I got for a dollar at Target. When she wakes up we are going to do some kind of craft, but for now I'm going to work on making some Christmas candy and be thankful for snow days!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The countdown is on

Our church has created a wonderful devotion for families to use during Advent. We have really been enjoying our time together each night after dinner. It is funny to see how Lylah reacts to us singing. She also likes to try and blow the Advent candle out even though it is across the room! Anyway, I decided to take our Advent celebration a step further by decorating an Advent Tree. With the help of my Cricut and my Martha Stuart Scoring Board (early Christmas present). I made tags and a cute little tree topper.

On each tag I have written an activity for us to do as a family. The activities range from really simple (play with Christmas stickers, listen to Christmas music), to crafty (make ornaments, party hats for Jesus' birthday party, paint a Christmas tree) to fun activities that we would be doing anyway (going to grandparents houses, the Smiths Grove parade, Oprymills Hotel). Our family activity for each Sunday will be to find different pieces of Lylah's fisher price Nativity Set that her Bebe got her on sale from Target. My hope is that the family activities coupled with the devotions will help us all keep in mind what this season is all about, Christ and His birth. I also hope it will be a fun cherished tradition that we look forward to each year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Color Practice

Lylah loves the Signing Time video about colors!! So, I found a little idea on a blog, to help her experience her colors in a new way. I just painted the different sections of an egg carton in each color. I went to Hobby Lobby and got some colored pom-poms and let Lylah go to town. She was so excited! She started signing colors and saying "bow" which means rainbow. She liked putting the pom-poms in the sections even if they weren't always right. She also loved walking out of the room with a handful of pom-poms and then coming back and putting them up. She's a hoot!!

DIY Cardboard Box Kitchen Play set

I am a BIG fan of Family Fun magazine. I've had a subscription since before Lylah was born in anticipation of one day being able to use the fun ideas with our children. Well, I have used several ideas already, but NONE compare to the Cardboard Kitchen Play set found in the December 2010 issue!!! As soon as I saw it I knew we had to make one too!! In fact, I went back and forth with some other more expensive DIY ideas and was going to make one for Christmas, but I talked myself out of it thinking maybe Lylah wasn't quite old enough. Well, this one was going to be so darn cheap that it wouldn't had been a big loss had it gone unnoticed by our lil' lady. Anyway, here is the finished product:

First of all, I was SOOOO wrong about Lylah not being old enough. She loves it!! She goes to the sink and pretends to wash her hands, and she turns the knobs on the stove.
Second of all it was SOOOO easy to make!! I actually went to Lowes and bought boxes (if you were better at waiting then I was you could probably find some for free) The two main boxes were 18x18x16 and cost $1.29. The box used for the shelf cost .95cents, but I'm not sure of the size. We had to cut it down a bit anyway. I got colored duct tape with a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby for $2.99. From there we just followed the directions in the magazine, easy peasy!! For our stove knobs we used the tops off of old spices we never use and Nathan drilled a hole in them. Then we actually found some knobs at Lowes for .80 cents a piece for the cabinets and oven. You could use anything though. Here is a closer picture of how that turned out.
My favorite part is the window. Our little pizza shop here in the Grove donated a box that just so happened to have a great view of Italy!! I added the pillowcase curtains and there you have it!! So cute!
We did also get some adhesive hooks to hang towels and a little hand broom bringing the grand total to under $10. Well worth the fun that Lylah has been having!!

So Thankful

So I'm a little late on this, but Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year so here I go with a little post about all things Thanksgiving. First of all what's not to love about Turkey Day?!! The colors are beautiful, the food is YUM-O, the company is a hoot (at least at our gatherings they are) and the purpose is giving thanks which we all could do a lot more often.

Anyway, I'm very thankful. I'm thankful for my husband. The fact that his knee is healing and that God has been providing while he is unable to work. Speaking of my hubs, I'm thankful for the way he makes me laugh even when I don't want to, for the daddy he is to our lil' lady, and for the leader he is and is becoming more and more everyday.

I'm thankful for our lil' lady. The fact that she seems to be going to sleep right now without screaming (we've had a rough past couple of days in that department) and for the way I am reminded of our Awesome God as I watch her grow and learn. Speaking of our lil' lady, I'm thankful for the way she runs up and squeezes my legs for no apparent reason, for every time she calls me "MAMA", and for the way she is developing her very own personality (however strong willed it is)!

I'm thankful for our families. They love us, support us, laugh with us and sometimes give us someone to laugh at!!

I'm thankful for our house. It is over 100 years old, it is drafty, it has a permanent layer of dust, but it serves its purpose and is home to us.

I'm thankful for our church. We get to God, grow in Christ, and give to others there.

I'm thankful for our friends. We started as a gang of nearly and newly marrieds and now are a bigger gang of young mama's and daddy's!! We have prayed together, laughed together, cried together, and praised together.

Finally, I'm thankful for God from whom all these blessing flow.

Now, with that being said, you know I can't post without some fun pics. These are from a craft Lylah and I did!! It is a "Thankful Turkey". Lylah "told" me what she was thankful for: mama and dada, our extended family, Bible and Jesus, signing time, snacks, and Mrs. Kim. Then she drew pictures on each feather and I glued it together with hot glue. It was our centerpiece for our Friday Thanksgiving dinner!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Time to think Christmas Cards

I'll admit it. Last year I went back and forth about Christmas cards. I really wanted to make ours, but realized that there wasn't enough time in the day to get enough made to send out. I wanted something that would be cute and showcase our family as well as communicate our love and faith to family and friends. I ended up rushing to an area drug store for cards that were okay, but could've been oh, so much better. This year I plan on being much more prepared and ordering from Shutterfly! Shutterfly is the solution for anyone facing a Christmas Card delima. They have lots of great options. There are plenty of color choices:
I like the black background with the multi-colored letters on this card.

There is the traditional green and red always cute, cute!

Or blue and white for a frosty feel!

Once you know a color scheme to go with then you can choose from 1 or more pictures!! The layouts are great-giving the cards an almost hand made appearance without all of the time that hand made requires!
So whether you have one,

or more pictures,
you are sure to find the right Christmas card at Shutterfly! I can't wait mail our "just right" card this Holiday season!!

And right now Shutterfly is giving back to us bloggers!! They are offering 50 free cards just for spreading the word about their great cards! All you have to do is sign up, blog, then pay shipping and tax costs!! While you are there you can even do some Christmas shopping or get a little something to help you count the days until next Christmas!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A little off the top

Our lil' lady refuses to keep hair clips or pony tails in her hair which usually results in the above looks.

This morning, I got out the signing time app, my scissors, and the first curl keeper due to the fact that Lylah kept closing her eyes tight like her hair was bothering her. Yep, time for her first trim! I say trim because if anyone knows me and my hair cutting history (my sister, my neighbor, and countless barbie dolls) then you know I have no business doing the full haircut thing!! Today's client thankfully walked away not looking much different-just a better view of those sweet eyes: