Tuesday, June 26, 2012

cinched up backpack

My little nephew just turned one last week. He and Baby Ben are exactly 9 months apart. Andy's sister and i planned very hard to work that out.... hee hee. But we are super thankful for this little guy and have big plans for he and ben to be best buddies. 

That said, he had a party this weekend and i kinda scrambled to think of a gift. 
MADE had just posted a great tutorial on how to make boxed-out totes so i started with that. 
Then i decided he needed his name in felt on the front,  another pocket on the inside and some cheater lining.
Then i wanted to add another color so i sewed on the yellow cinched up tie on the top...

 and BACK PACK straps to the back. Everything was done extremely randomly and probably more complicated that it needed to be but i was happy with the result and can't wait to see a toddling little eric stuffing treasures into his pack soon.
and to get him started i made sure this {most adorable} Eric had a new title to add to his collection of Eric Carle's books.

Now, i have to spend a little time on the star of this post. This baby (i mean BIG boy, sorry joelle! ;) is the most expressive and interesting little guy i've ever known. He is full of fun and sweetness but he also has the most extensive collection of absolutely hilarious little faces. He entertained a group of at least 10 adults at his party for nearly 15 minutes with his expressions alone. And those brown eyes with the longest lashes i've ever seen...well, i guess i've seen some like them on his lovely momma.
Anyway, he's just too much cuteness to take.

We were delighted to celebrate his birthday and even more delighted to have him in our family.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

summer list

well, since today is officially the first day of summer i thought it would be a great time to post our summer list. a week and a half ago we got our little family together and had a summer list brainstorming meeting. here's our list last year
i finally wrote it up on the chalkboard yesterday and now we can begin crossing stuff off...just in time for Target to put out school supplies. does anyone else feel a tad robbed of their summer when this happens so early? grrrrr. maybe i'm just overly sensitive to the big blank spot in the bottom corner which should have written on it: "PLAN SCHOOL". oh well, for now i'll just focus on the fact that today is "make ice cream" day. woohoo ;)

i'm linking up with sweet Alicia for her "happy day project." go check her happy challenge for today. :)


Sunday, June 17, 2012

We {heart} daddy

Happy Father's Day Handy Andy. We love you "yots".
 i love that i was able to capture the filth that is stained onto my children's sweet little feet. They're hard-core "bare-footers".... and well, their feet show it but they make their daddy proud. ;)

**here are 2 of about 20 outtakes. sheesh! these kiddos make it hard to take their pictures. although hats off to big brother Will who put himself in charge of keeping Ben's legs down so i could snap a coherent picture! bless his heart.
 oh ben, you and your squishy face...

Friday, June 15, 2012

summer spray

Summer is here. hip hip hooray!
I'm loving these hot-enough-to-get-the-hose-out-in-regular-clothes kind of days.
sophie is loving it too. :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Learning FUN!

We ended school for the year. i didn't post about it because there wasn't a lot to say and my feelings about the success of the year are a little iffy. One thing i was certain about is that i wanted to continue some learning into the summer but i knew it had to be FUN...or at least as fun as possible. :)
 So, here comes my brain child. ha. i actually did spend a lot of time thinking about this- even waking up in the night trying to figure out the best way to motivate Will and get some goals crossed off my list.
My 3 main goals for the summer  are:
1) FORCE, i mean encourage Will to practice reading
2) Finish our Handwriting book
3) Get out in nature and purposefully explore

Here's what i came up with. My title is kinda stupid but it was the best i could think of before i walked out the door to Kinkos. So, it's just a little board game type chart hung on the fridge.

 For every blue circle he picks a blue "DESTINATION" card. I have a lot of repeats and a little variety thrown in to make it interesting.

Here's a full list: Read a book, Do 2 Handwriting pages, Read a summer poem, Read a book with mom and dad, Retell a story to your sisters, Go outside and a find an object in nature the size of a quarter, draw a picture of it in your journal, Listen for 2 bird calls and try to find the birds they belong to, Go outside w/ the small camera and find a bird or bug and take a picture of it. Write about it in journal, Recite your summer poem, READ a book, READ a book!
 THEN, once he has done 3 "DESTINATIONS" he gets to pick a "TREASURE" card.
This envelope is mostly filled with "Pick from the BOX" cards but i also included some fun ones too:
- Bike ride to Safeway and pick out an ice cream topping
-Bike ride to Safeway and pick out a cold drink
-Pizza party with the family at the pool
-Frozen Yogurt at Aspen Leaf
- Dinner at Red Lobster

The Treasure box is filled with all kinds of snacks and little toys. I'll also use this box to reward the girls for their own version of this chart.
Today was the first day and all 3 were pretty jazzed. Will did his 2 handwriting pages with only a small sigh and the girls did a little color matching activity. They each put a sticker on their chart and were asking "can we do more summer sailing, pleeeeease?!"

* i decided to add a few stars to random blue cards so that every once in awhile they would get a bonus treasure from the box. we're all about motivation over here.
* I also added more than enough treasure cards so i'm hoping he'll be motivated to go through the chart more than once.

Friday, June 1, 2012

lollipops + cousins= yum

I've had the pleasure of hanging out with all 7 of these little peeps a couple times this last week and its always a lot of fun...and a lot of crazy. But since 3 of the 7 will be moving to Iowa in a few weeks, i'm happy for any opportunities to soak them up. This morning was made extra sweet thanks to...
Sister leaving a bag of these lollipops for us to enjoy. We try not to do a lot of sugar in our fam but sometimes, its nice to have a treat. We discovered this brand awhile ago and just love them.
100% natural, organic, no high fructose corn syrup, real fruit extracts like black carrots and pumpkin!, sweetened with cane juice and brown rice syrup and have fantastic flavors!

My nephew's favorite is (in his words) "flamango mango" :)
Anyway, just thought i'd pass the fun along in case you've never heard of these.
oh and i've found them at Sprouts and even stores like TJmaxx and Marshalls.
So, there you go. bet you're craving a "too berry blueberry" right now.