Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hand Print Christmas Tree

I was looking for some fun artsy Christmas-y crafts to do with the kids so I decided to see what Pinterest had to offer (where else would I go!?!?!?).  No huge surprise that I already have a "Christmas Crafts" board that's been collecting internet dust for years.  So, I took a look and, lo and behold, I found something that looked fun and simple.  Simple being key!
All I needed was paint, a canvas and little tiny toddler hands. 
Check, check and check!
All you need to do is paint their hand, then carefully place them onto the canvas forming a "tree".  I alternated their handprints by rows using a different shade of green for each child.  I don't have any photos of the process because, well, I was a little occupied making sure that they didn't touch anything with their green hands!

Redmond did the first and third row in the dark green, Ashlyn's is the second and top row in a lighter, sparkly green.  I painted on a yellow star and a trunk once the tree was dry.

That's it!  It was simple and a super cute decoration and keepsake!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

E.L.L.'s Second Week

Well, it's week two since Eekey Locky Luke has come back to visit.  His first week he was pretty well behaved and basically just explored different rooms of the house.  This week he got into a little bit of mischief which the kids thought was so cool!

He must have been jealous that he wasn't invited to decorate and/or pick out our Christmas tree this year because the next morning he had put up one of his own! 

The following day he kept a close eye on the kids as they ate.  He was hanging on to the light over our dining room table!

Wednesday morning we woke up to find that we'd been TP'd!  Apparently E.L.L. thought our tree needed a little more decorating!


Went for a ride on Ashlyn's dinosaur the next morning....

Ended the school/work week with a little light Christmas reading....


The kids thought it was hilarious to find that Eekey Locky Luke had to go potty.  When you gotta go, you gotta go.  Even elves!

Then, last night E.L.L. thought he'd be silly and draw faces, hair and a hat on the kids picture.  Redmond was quite excited that he grew a beard :)
Who knows what we're in for this week!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Tree Time!

Keeping up with one of our favorite Christmas traditions, we headed to Loveberry's Tree Farm this past weekend.  It's such a fun place to go and the kids love running around the tree 'forest'.  We do lots of exploring and always end up with the *perfect* tree!
This year was no different.  We probably walked around for a at least 15 minutes, searching for our perfect tree.
And then, there it was!  Our tree!
And of course, the best part, watching daddy do all the hard work and cut the tree down!
We love the wagon ride that takes us to and from the trees!
We got the tree wrapped up and strapped to the top of our car and headed home to decorate!  The kids had so much fun putting the ornaments on the tree, especially Redmond.  He oohed and aahed over all of the ornaments....and only broke one!
Finally, all the ornaments were on and we were finished.  Best tree yet :)
Can't wait to celebrate Christmas in our new home this year.  So much to be thankful for!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Welcome Back, Eekey Locky Luke!

He's back!!  And boy, was he missed!!  The kids are having so much fun looking for Eekey Locky Luke every morning.  He's found some good spots to hang out and watch and, thankfully, hasn't been naughty....yet....

He made his entrance this year on December 1st perched on top of our Christmas Counter-Downer (yes, that is a technical term, just ask Elmo).  

He was a huge hit that morning!  
Here's where else we found him during his first week of visits:
Fishing in the bathroom sink:

He does a lot of traveling for such a small guy so he took a much needed, relaxing bath in Ashlyn's dollhouse:

Hanging out with Redmond's Cowboy (and before you ask, that's a saddle in his hand.  Our elf isn't that impressive!)

Hanging out with Oscar in the bathtub on the Bubble Guppies Boat:

Chillin' with the wildlife in the MSU room:

And lastly, patiently waiting to make pancakes on Sunday morning.  He even got out (most of) the dry ingredients.  Thanks ELL!!  (This is how he made his debut last year)

Side note:  Redmond has become quite the pancake pro.  He can almost recite our entire recipe from memory!  Look at him whisking like a pro:

Can't wait to see where Eekey Locky Luke ends up next week!

Does your family have an elf?  What have they been up to?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Light Up Holiday Sign

A few weeks ago, my girl Marie and I went to a DIY workshop at our local Home Depot.  It was so.much.fun!  We had absolutely no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we went, but we both went home with a festive, beautiful, holiday decoration. 
It still amazes me just how easy this project was.  No, seriously, it was.  The most difficult part was trying to figure out what word/phrase I wanted on my sign.  For real.  It took me so long to decide.  Oh, the anxiety!
To make this, you only need a handful of supplies: a piece of wood, paint, stencils and, if you want your sign to light up, a drill and Christmas lights.  Easy peasy.  Check it out:
First, paint your piece of wood whatever color your little heart desires.  I chose a simple white background with red lettering.  You know, keeping it Christmasy.

Once your base coat dries, arrange your stencils.  I think the most important thing I learned at this workshop was how to paint with stencils.  You need to blot and not "paint" when using stencils.  This keeps the paint where it needs to be and it won't creep under the stencils.  Also, be sure that you get any excess paint off of your brush before blotting.  Less likely to be messy that way.
If you're not adding in any Christmas lights then congrats!  You're done!  See?  Wasn't that easy!?!?
If you do want to add lights, you just have two more steps to go! 
Mark your letters where you want holes drilled.  Then, get to work!  Or, if you're like me, have the guy at Home Depot get to work!  Thanks, dude!

Once your holes are drilled, it's time to start putting in the lights.  I decided to take mine home to do that part since it was waaaaay past the time that this shindig was supposed to be done.  I told you I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out what word I wanted to use!
Here is a pic of Marie and I with our masterpieces, sans lights:

So cute, right!?!? 
The signs aren't too bad either.....
Once I got home, I got to work putting in the lights.  This was a little time consuming because I had to unscrew each bulb since the bulb itself wouldn't fit through the drill holes.  Which, really, works out well because the lights won't fall out the back.  It only took me about 20 minutes to get all the lights in and I just love how it turned out!  I still can't believe that I made it!
Have you been crafty lately?  Let's see your stuff!

Friday, November 21, 2014


And now, just like that, I have a four year old to go along with my two year old.
Pass the tissues please!
Four years have passed since I became a mother.  Four years since this hilarious, handsome, too-smart-for-his-own-good little man entered this world.   
Four. Years.
I'm in a bit of disbelief.  Can ya tell?
We went low-key with Redmond's birthday this year.  He said he wanted a train-themed shirt and cake this year so he got to wear his new shirt to school to show all of his friends.  At school he got all the attention for the day!  They sang to him, he got to pick a special prize, got a crown and even took cookies in to share with his classmates.  He was beaming when I picked him up.

He requested that we go to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch so he could get Mac & Cheese. Who was I to deny the birthday boy!?

For dinner, he chose our local Mexican restaurant.  And, if you know Redmond, that was no surprise.  This kid could eat cheese quesadillas all day and night.  Dinner was just us, Jason's parents and our friends Katy and Jake.  Redmond's favorite people and his favorite meal.  Sounds like a good birthday dinner to me!
After dinner, we headed back to our house for cake and presents.  Now, I haven't made a cake in years.  Ever since our wedding, I have ordered a cake any time I needed one.  But, since we weren't hosting a party, I figured I could make Redmond's cake.  Not only did I make it, but I made it from scratch.  He requested vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.  Making the cake was easy, decorating it was what I was worried about!  But, I don't think it turned out too terrible.
Don't judge a cake by it's messy sprinkles.

After cake, it was on to the best part.....presents!!  Redmond got some great stuff, but most of all he had a great birthday!  We're so lucky to have such great people that care about and love our kids just as much as we do.

Redmond, at four years old you are 39 inches tall and weigh 36 pounds (only 8 more than your sister!)  You are such an amazing boy!  You continue to amaze us with your intelligence, memory and sense of humor.  You are an amazing big brother to Ashlyn, always looking out for her and play so well with her....most of the time ;)  You are doing so well in school and absolutely love going.  Your teacher is so proud of your progress and even said that you could possibly go into Kindergarten next year!  But, that's not happening :)  You say the funniest things, have an incredible imagination and are so attentive to others.  You are definitely our sensitive, dramatic child, but that makes you you.  Your best friend in the whole wide world is your Grandpa Joe with Katy coming in a close second.  You can already do simple addition and subtraction questions in your head, are learning how to spell words and we think you'll be reading soon!  We are so proud of the little man you're becoming.  Thank you so much for making us parents.  We love you so much!!!