Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fiesta Cupcakes

This week I've been busy getting ready for my sister and my uncle's joint Birthday party that I'm throwing them. I'm really having a blast getting ready for the party and I'm excited to have everyone here to celebrate.

My sister suggested Mexican food so, I'm going with a Mexican Fiesta theme. Basically, there will be lots of bright colors and yummy Mexican food. I sent a little invitation in the mail asking people to wear their "brightly colored party clothes". I think it'll be fun if everyone is dressed in bright colors to match the party. My family is pretty silly so, I think they'll have fun with it.

Today Judah and I made the cupcakes for the party. There will also be another dessert but, I'll be making that tomorrow. I used this Vanilla Cupcakes recipe. When the cupcake batter was ready to go, I divided it into 4 bowls and colored them yellow, green, blue and orange. I scooped the colors on top of each other into the muffin tins and then baked them.

After they were cooled, I frosted them with 4 different colors of frosting. I hope they like them!

 Before the cupcakes were baked:
 Right out of the oven:
 All frosted and the inside of the cupcake:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thank you to The Frugal Girls!

I'm so flattered! I just looked on The Frugal Girls website and they featured my post about flowers made with ribbon on their "Oh-Sew-Cute Spring Sewing Projects".

When I wrote that post, I never thought many people would read it. I was just having fun making some cute little flowers for my precious girl's headbands. I'm seriously so tickled that they featured my little craft.

Thank you to The Frugal Girls! You made my evening.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Organizing Coupons

Couponing. Maybe you love it or maybe you hate it. Maybe you're like me and you love shopping with coupons because it saves your family money but, you also hate it because it's an extra hassle. I wouldn't say that I'm one of those major coupon shoppers. I'm not the most knowledgeable coupon person and I'm not that person who always scores the best bargains, although I do try. I'm the regular wife and mom who usually has her young children with her when she's grocery shopping but, I do use coupons as much as I can.

When I started using coupons a few things happened. First, I felt a bit dorky when I got up to the checker and handed her a stack of paper. It was like I could feel the people in the line behind me start tapping their toes. Another thing that happened when I started using coupons is that I started to not want to pay full price for anything. It's like, why would you want to buy say, batteries for the full price if you could have a coupon, match that with the sale price and save some money? Well, that sounds good but, it can get annoying when you always want to get the best deal. Couponing has made me way less prone to just stopping somewhere and picking something up.

I feel like I need to plan all my shopping trips and that gets old but, it saves us a lot of money. If I'm going to go grocery shopping, first I look through the sale ad to see what's on sale. I usually use the sale items to plan our meals. Then I match the sale items with coupons that I have.

I love saving money here and there because it all adds up but, it does require me to be more organized. Today my little project was to organize my coupons in this simple folder that I picked up at Michael's.
The coupons from the Sunday paper that I don't clip and file in the accordion file above, get stored away in a bigger accordion file. There are some great websites that match up coupons with sale items so, I don't throw these ones away until they are expired.
I don't think I'll ever be the best coupon shopper in the world or the most frugal mom around but, it is fun to save here and there. Getting my coupons all organized felt good and when they're organized, it really is less time consuming to keep everything straight.

Some of my favorite coupon/frugal websites are:
The Frugal Girls
Thrifty and Thriving
Money Saving Mom

Monday, March 28, 2011

Easter is on it's way!

I love holiday's. I love the decorations, the special times with family, the food and the traditions. My new favorite thing about a holiday is seeing how much my children enjoy it.

Our first Easter, Judah was just three months old. I remember taking him to the big church service and he got a little freaked out my all the noise and people. He cried a bit and  I walked around with him until he feel asleep. He slept in my arms during the church service and I felt so thankful to God that I was holding my sleeping baby on his first Easter, during church. I felt so blessed because I always wanted to be a mom and now I was one and we were celebrating our first holiday as a family of three!

Last year, Judah was just a few months over one year old. He was dressed up cute and we went to church as a family. I had found out I was pregnant with Paisley just a few months before Easter and when I wore my Easter dress to church, I could see my little baby bump. It made me happy to see the baby was growing and I was excited thinking about how the following Easter, we would celebrate as a family of 4.

Easter will be here soon and I'm on the look out for the perfect first Easter dress for Paisley and a cute little outfit for Judah to wear. Judah will be old enough to participate in the church Easter egg hunt this year, with Daddy's help. I think he's really going to enjoy looking for the eggs, even if he won't really fully understand.
We will go to church as a family and then do something fun afterwards to celebrate.

I always say it and I'm going to say it again. Having kids makes holiday's way more fun. I see the holiday differently than I did before. I'm already trying to think of the best way to explain the real meaning of Easter to my children. This year Judah is too young to understand. Soon however, he and Paisley will both be old enough to understand.

As we celebrate Holiday's like Easter, I want to have balance in our family. I was us to have fun getting dressed up, fun doing egg hunts, fun times at church and with family. I also want my children to know why we are celebrating. I'm excited for this Easter and I'm so thankful to God for my family, that I get to celebrate with!
Family Easter picture 2010


I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hop blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

You know you have a two year old boy when....

You hear yourself saying "Good job Bud, scoop more dirt!"

You sit down to feed the baby and a Thomas the Train whistle goes off under your rear.

You look out in the yard and see the picnic table being rolled across the yard. (pictures below)

While you're shopping alone at Target, you see a Barney DVD about Firetrucks. You get so excited about this because you know your boy is going to love it! Of course, you buy it.

You yell out the door for Rosie, the dog, to give him back his stick. He was "playing the drums".

Your son tells you that he's going to go poop in the closet. You ask him if he'd like to sit on his potty chair and he frantically responds with "no, thank you! no thank you!"

You go in to cover him at night and see his long legs sticking out the end of the crib. You start to think it might be time to shop for a twin bed.

Your heart melts when you hear him calling his sister "sweet pea". Minutes later, you are explaining that it is NOT okay to kick little "sweet pea".

You realize that you haven't held him while he was sleeping in so long and it makes your heart ache a little.
Picnic table rolling


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Daylight savings time and Judah's sleep

Ever since Judah was a little baby, he's been in his bed about 8pm every night and gone to sleep well. Since we "sprung ahead" a few weeks ago, he's been going to sleep so much later.

We've put him to bed at his (new) normal time but, he still hasn't recovered from the time change. He isn't sad when he's in bed. He talks, sings and plays around. He just doesn't go to sleep! Sometimes I'm amazed by how long it takes him to go to sleep at night. It makes me wonder if he's going to stop napping soon.

He's also still in a crib but, he's been talking to me about a "big boy crib", I think he means bed. I think the days of him being in a crib are numbered. We won't be moving him out of his crib until he's climbing out of it but, I think he's going to be climbing out soon.

Tonight my mom came and stayed with Judah while we went to our home group. They had the best time. She said they sat on the couch and had a conversation. He talked a lot about how he wants to drive the work van soon and drive her car soon. He is so obsessed with wanting to drive things.

Be sure to keep track of your keys if you're around Judah!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday morning adventure at the beach

This morning, my husband spontaneously suggested that we all head out to the beach. He'd driven by a local beach that looked fun while he was working so, we decided that we'd go check it out. I'll admit that I didn't want to get up and go this morning. I wanted to get a few things done around the house and not be rushed to go anywhere.

I'm so glad we went.
We saw awesome bird houses out on the water.
We gathered sticks and drew in the sand.
We smiled.
We walked down the beach and explored.
We (Paisley) took a nap. Have I mentioned how glad I am that I have this carrier?
We climbed over logs.
Some of us propelled over logs.
We saw the reflection of trees in the water.
We played.
We saw two huge eagles up in a tree. They were eyeing us and it was almost scary.
The longer I'm a mom, the more I realize what I enjoy doing with my husband and kids. One of the things I enjoy the most is going on a simple Saturday morning adventure with them.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

First picnic of the year

Today we got up, did a few things around the house while Paisley took a nap, packed a picnic and headed out to the playground. We had an absolute blast. Seriously, it was one of the best times that I've had in awhile. We met my sister and her two little boys there and we also saw a couple moms that go to our church there.

In the past, Judah has been on the cautious side and he hasn't wanted to go down the slide. Just yesterday, I was telling my mom that one day he's going to feel comfortable enough and he's going to start going down. Today he saw some of the older kids going down and he decided that he was ready. I wasn't pushing it and he decided all on his own to go down. He went down again and again and he just loved it. I was so proud of him!!!



To me, this was more than just about the slide. This is a lesson about how things work with kids. They do things when they are ready. We can encourage them and be there for them but, it doesn't do any good to pressure something on them. I knew Judah would find out that slides are fun, he just had to do it with his own timing and without any pressure.

Judah and Noah also went on the tire swing for the first time and they la, la, la, loved it.

After we played, we had our picnic. I made lunch for Judah and Noah and Sally brought lunch for herself and I. It was fun to have a surprise picnic that she had packed and I had fun packing a surprise picnic for the boys. If you're going to have a picnic with a friend, I totally recommend bringing food for each other, it makes it way more fun.

Judah and Noah had peanut butter and homemade jam sandwiches, apple sauce, kiwi's and cheese pieces.

I'm hoping to do a lot of picnics this summer. It's good for my kids and it's also good for me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I'm loving Wednesday

•Today I'm loving the sunshine!
•I'm loving that after nap time, we are heading out to the park to play.
•I'm loving that I found a crock pot recipe for a pork tenderloin and I have all the ingredients so, it'll be ready when we get home from the park.
•I'm loving that I pulled all my cute, "before Paisley" clothes out and put them in my closet for extra motivation to be able to wear them.
•I'm loving that my secret sister at MOPS gave me sweet pea seeds and that I'm planting them today.
•I'm loving that Paisley is 5 months old today and I'm beyond thankful for how healthy and happy she is.
•I'm loving that Judah tells me that Paisley loves bulldozers. Does she really? I think it's just wishful thinking.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Paisley's first solids!

Tonight Paisley joined us for dinner. Well, she's always with us at dinner time but, tonight she got to eat! She had a few bites of avocado mashed up with pumped milk. I made it really runny since it was her first time eating anything and she did pretty well.
I don't think she'll be eating a big quantity of anything for awhile. I just figured that since she's always sitting there watching us eat and trying to grab our food, it wouldn't hurt to make her a little something and she how she did. I think the biggest challenge with feeding her is keeping her from grabbing the spoon.......
Lastly, what is it about feeding a baby that makes the feeder make funny faces?

Monday, March 21, 2011

A few things that "work" for me

This stage of life, with two little ones is super busy. Sometimes I get caught up in the feeling of being torn in so many different directions. I need to document a few of the things that are "working" for me right now. It'll help me remember what life was like with a 2 year old and 4 month old. The things that work will always change. For now, these are the things that help.

•Getting up with Paisley at 7am, feeding her, having a cup of coffee and a moment to start my day before Judah wakes up. We all function better if we start our day off right. If I start my day rushed, it affects the whole atmosphere of our home. Also, reading a Bible verse or two in the morning really helps me start the day with the right prospective.

•If we have errands to run or play dates to go to, it makes all of us happier if we do them in the morning before lunch and nap time. Paisley takes 3 or 4 naps a day so, I can't always be home for all her naps but, we can at least 95% of the time be home for Judah's nap in the afternoon.

•Having a consistent nap time for Judah and having Paisley nap at that same time really works for me. Judah's nap is longer than Paisley's but, at least I get some time to myself everyday. I count on this time and I need it. I love them more than anything but, every mom needs a moment of silence and peace.

•I blog during their nap times. I don't blog when they are awake because I just don't feel right about that. I like to sit when they are  resting, have a cup of coffee and have some "me" time.

•Knowing what I'm going to make for dinner and best case scenario, having dinner started early in the day really helps me. The evenings can be busy and if I already know what I'm making or have it ready to go in the oven or in the crock pot, it makes our evening so much more peaceful.

•Taking a shower. I'll just be honest.....I don't shower every single day because sometimes it just isn't worth the hassle but when I do, I feel so much better. While Paisley is taking a morning nap, I tuck Judah into our bed, put the child door lock on the inside of the door (so, he can't go around the house and get into mischief), then I turn on Barney and take a quick shower. I can see him watching Barney from the bathroom and it works.

•Playing good music. I love the way music changes the way I feel.

There are many other things that "work" right now and also many things that I wish went more more smoothly. It helps to remember the things that are working for me and go back to them when I feel like life is getting too chaotic.

Here are two pictures I took this morning of my sweet girl. I can't believe she's almost 5 months.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy 1st Day of Spring

There's something about having a day at home, working in the yard and doing miscellaneous projects around the house that makes me so happy. This morning we went to church, then came home, put Judah and Paisley down for naps and got some good stuff done.

Jeremiah pulled the lawn mower out for the first time this year and mowed the front and back grass. I pulled my car out of the garage, swept out the garage and vacuumed out the car. I also pruned the hydrangeas that are out front. Working out in the yard is therapeutic for me but, it's hard to find the time to do it during the week when I'm home with Judah and Paisley.

After nap time, Jeremiah and Judah headed to the store and bought sand for Judah's sand box. We discovered that sand is fun but, it gets everywhere. I think I'm going to be sweeping my kitchen floor more often and Judah is going to need to take more baths because sand is fun and messy. Seriously, tonight before bed, I was still finding sand in his ears!

For dinner, Jeremiah barbecued chicken. It was the first time using the barbecue this year so, that was fun. We were planning on eating outside but, it was super cold by dinner time so, we skipped that idea.

After I was done pruning the hydrangeas, I picked a few of the flowers that are blooming outside. I'm a firm believer that flowers are not supposed to just sit in your yard and look pretty. They need to come inside also so, they can be enjoyed!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This boy.....

This boy loves to play outside. Sometimes I play outside with him, other times I watch him carefully from inside the door.

I peek my head out to see how he's doing, he looks at me and says "bye, bye" because he's afraid that I want him to come back inside. Yet, whenever he's about to go down the slide or he's doing something that he's proud of, he always looks to make sure I'm watching.

He gathers rocks in a red measuring cup. He gathers dandelions in his wagon. He gathers lots of dirt with his dump trucks and makes piles of pine cones.

I watch him walk around the yard and see how happy he is just playing with the simplest of things. I fold warm laundry on the table while I watch him play. I check on him and again, he smiles and says "bye, bye!". Paisley wakes up from her nap and I sit and feed her by the door. The house is completely quiet. The only noises I can hear are the birds outside and Judah talking to himself while he goes around the yard. The silence of the house and the peaceful noises from outside are perfect. The air in the house is cold because the door is open but, the house smells fresh like spring.

Judah has dirt on his forehead, dirt under his nails and on his clothes but, I think it's good. He's playing like a little boy and he's having fun.




Friday, March 18, 2011

Our St. Patrick's Day

Yesterday was probably the most fun St. Patrick's Day that I've had. I feel like I keep saying that but, it's true. Having kids really does make holiday's way more fun.

I made my first corned beef and it turned out super yummy. My husband grew up having corned beef on every St. Patrick's Day so, I had big shoes to fill. I cooked it in the crock pot with potatoes, carrots, onion and of course cabbage and although I'm not a big corned beef fan, I thought it was pretty good. For dessert we had a pistachio pudding pie (because it's green) and Judah just loved that.

Before Jeremiah got home from work, Judah and I spontaneously put up a few decorations. He colored on some papers that I already had and then we just hung them up with a green streamer. It was simple, and looked like a pre-schooler did it but, we had fun.



We all wore green and Paisley wore the same onesie that Judah wore 2 years ago.
Paisley-4 months
 Judah-2 months 3-17-2009

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cousins

These baby cousins are on their way to becoming great friends.
Although Levi is a manly hunk of a baby, and Paisley is a sweet little girl......


I have a feeling that they are going to be great friends.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Babies etc.

Wow, how ridiculous am I that I get goosebumps and little tears in my eyes when I hear that someone I don't even know just had their baby?

That  is why (Lord willing), I'll end up having a ton of babies. Well, maybe more like 4 or something. Not actually a ton. For the record, I am very content with the 2 that I have right now and my hands are currently full enough. But again, Lord willing, we are definitely not done.

Right now, I feel like it'll be a while before we have another because having 2, two and under is pretty busy and I can only handle so much chaos or else I start to get a little stressed. Maybe when our children are all older I'll go back to school to become a midwife or something. That way I can experience the miracle of birth over and over without having a ton of kids of my own. I'd love to help other women on the most special day of their lives....I guess we'll just see what God's plans are.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Judah's first time picking out a library book

This morning, after Paisley's first nap, we headed out to go do a few errands. One of our stops was to go by the library and pick up my book that had been waiting there for way too long. I love the library but, I've never checked out books for Judah because we already have a ridiculous amount of books at our house that have been given to us.

The nice library lady asked us if we'd like to check out any other books, besides the one that was on hold for me. I decided that we'd stay for awhile and look around. Judah got to play on the kids computer and we found a couple books to take home for him.

He was so excited about this tractor book. Really, finding this book for him and seeing him carefully carry it to the car has been the highlight of my day. We read it before nap time and we talked about the computer at the library. He had so much fun there. I don't care how many other books we already have, going to the library, playing on the computer and coming home with some fun books is definitely all about the experience.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Good friendship & The Bachelor

This morning a good friend and her son came over to visit. Judah and her son played really well together and we got to have good conversation. Lately, I've been feeling burdened to have deeper friendships and get beyond all the small talk and "surfacey" stuff. I feel like I'm out around other people enough but, I'm not satisfied with the depth of my relationships. I hope that makes sense.....

It's definitely no one's fault except my own that my relationships aren't what I'd like them to be. I'm often more on the shy and quiet side and I know I need to step out of my comfort zone more often and reach out to people. There are just so many things that hold me back. Insecurities, time, kids......I also wonder if other people want to have deeper friendships or if it's just me. It's so easy to just assume that everyone else is just satisfied with the relationships in their life.

Anyway......
The visit this morning was really good. We had good conversation about things that are bigger than just small talk stuff. It's so nice to get beyond the small talk and talk about things of real importance.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tonight my sister is coming over after my babies will be in bed and we are going to eat popcorn, drink diet pop and watch The Bachelor. I am so excited! I will quickly admit that even though I don't think that show is the way to find real love, I do love watching it. All I have to say is that he better pick this girl. I will be so disappointed if he doesn't!

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