Friday, December 30, 2011

winter sensory bin

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it's almost january, so that means we need a new winter sensory bin!  i used several items from the dollar store and hobby lobby (clearance items).  here's what it looks like:

the winter sensory bin is made up of:

blue rice (from our creation story sensory bin)
white/blue/purple pom poms
blue/white/purple pony beads
blue ribbon pieces
large blue sequins
iridescent asterisk sequins (they look like snowflakes)
iridescent star sequins (also left over from the creation sensory bin)
winter erasers
jingle bells
blue plastic table gems (used for table decoration)

Bear drove his dumptrucks and cars through the "sNOw"he even busted out some of our little gardening shovels and dug in the snow. 


and that's about it :)

 
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

homemade postcards

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right now Bear and i are participating in the postcard exchange hosted by Deborah over at Teach Preschool.  it has been sooo much fun!  

this is such a higHLigHT in Bear's day.  every time we check the mail, he wants to know if there is a postcard for him in it.  so i sent out emails to some of my friends on facebook who live out of state/country to see if they'd send us a postcard too!  the response oVeRWheLmED me!  what amazing people i'm blessed to know.

we have U.S. and world map posters on the wall in his room where we keep track of where we've received postcards from. we mark locations from the postcard exchange with sTaRS.  then we used hEaRTs for the people that i'm friends with. 

as far as the postcards we send out, we bought quite a few at our zoo to send.  since it's been colder, we haven't gone.  so i got resourceful and we made our own postcards out of manila folders.  i cut them down to standard postcard size and drew the separation line on the back.  we got out the stamps and markers and Bear decorated them.




 
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Monday, December 26, 2011

in {her} shoes...preparing for a new year

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when the idea of the in {her} shoes series came to me, i didn't realize what a bLeSSinG it would be.  through it, i've met and befriended some aMaZiNG wOmEN.  


this is the last monday in 2011.  that being said, i'd like to invite all of you to participate in my in {her} shoes series.  if you're a mom (or grandma, or dad, or are TTC), i would love for you to share a glimpse of life in your shoes, whether you're a blogger or not.  if you're  interested in participating in this guest blog series,  email me at andiejaye@cox.net 

here's a rundown so that you can see if this is something you'd like to participate in...

there are a few questions i’d like you to incorporate into your post anyway you’d like:

• what is the most challenging part of being a mom?
• what is the most rewarding?
• in your opinion, what’s the most important value(s) parents can instill in their children?
• if you children could describe you in 3 words, which ones would they pick?



any other information you want to add is great! i don’t care what structure you put it in or how you do it.  i'd just love to hear your story!  so let me know if you'd like to contribute to my in {her} shoes series!

 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Friday, December 23, 2011

have a blessed Christmas

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Merry Christmas my dears!

i just wanted to let you all know that i'm going on a bRiEF blogging hiatus... just until after Christmas.   i'm going to dedicate the next few days to focusing on faMiLY and this bLeSSed sEAsoN.  i'll be back on monday.  love to you all...
 
 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Monday, December 19, 2011

salt dough ornaments

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we made saLT doUGh ornaments!!!  i got this recipe from the amazing Laura over at Art for Little Hands in her Salt Dough post. {sorry. links no longer available} 


stirring the thick mix was fun...but a bit hard


we used many tools to play and create
((even a toy steamroller!))


the baking took a while...i had to keep standing the snowmen back up


the painting was fun!  we used tempera paint. 
then a coat of mod podge to add some shine.
have you ever made your own salt dough or playdough?

 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

the transformation........new etsy item

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i've got another new item in my etsy shop!  i've been creating collage art for a while, but never like this.  miXEd mEDiA coLLaGe aRt is my new love. 

this piece is called the transformation
it's based on one of my favorite quotes ever!
just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly


this is sitting on a shelf in our preschool area.  i can't find the right place to hang it. 
i want it in every room...
 
 
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Christmas tree candle decoration

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i thought that decorating a Christmas tree candle might be fun for Bear.  i bought a white one and a green one at dollar tree.  the white one was my project and was a total fAiLUrE.  but Bear's turned out great!

i gave him the glitter glue and the star he asked for and let him go! 



 
 
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Friday, December 16, 2011

DIY felt parking lot playmat

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this year, i'm focusing more on handmade Christmas gifts.  this wasn't a Christmas gift, but it's an idea for those of you with kiddos that love to play with cars.

Bear was playing cars and lining them up on our dinner table.  i asked him if he wanted me to make him a parking lot.  of course he said yes, so we picked up the materials the next day.

i used two stiff pieces of felt so that it wouldn't bend as easily.  i fabric-glued three felt strips on the back to create the spine so it can fold in half.  the most time consuming part was painting the lines on it.  they aren't perfect.  i had to do this quickly because he wanted to play with it later that night.  he was ecstatic with it, so that's all that matters, right?



i'd love it if you left a link for any homemade gifts you've made so i can check them out!

 
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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

say what you mean

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isn't it funny how we often say one thing, but mean another.  as in, we aren't always as clear as we should be to get our true intent across.

here's a prime example:
 
Bear was getting ready to play in his room with his dad.  so i said,
"please pick your toys up off of the floor."

mom translation:  put your toys away in your room where they belong

preschooler translation:

he picked his toys up off of the floor, didn't he?  haha!  guess that'll teach me to be more specific next time!
 
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

setting the Christmas table

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Christmas is fastly approaching.  with it comes planning and preparing.  here are some wonderful ideas i've found to make your Christmas table beAUtiFuL, peRSonAL, and weLcOMinG.

i love the blue and red combo!

made from fresh materials!
Homemade Advent Crown from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots


i think this would be gorgeous with poinsettia leaves and petals!
 
one angel could be made for each person
Christmas Angel Table Lights from At Home with Ali
these could be used every year!
Printed Napkins from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots

afterward, guests could take these home and hang on their trees with ribbon
Salt Dough Holly Leaf Place Markers from Rainy Day Mum

just a few ideas i wanted to share with you! 
what are your plans for your Christmas table?

 
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Monday, December 12, 2011

in {her} shoes...jen

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happy monday!  i've been one busy momma this past weekend! it's finals week for me and i'm trying to get LoTS of things done in very LiTTLe tiME.  i can't wait until the end of the week when things at school are wrapped up!  i still have a bunch of Christmas presents to make!  i'll be posting them as soon as i make them. 

anyway...today's  in {her} shoes guest blogger is Jen from the Kitchen Counter Chronicles!  she has soooo many fun projects plus a frequent spotlight of other bloggers ((and their kitchen counters))!  isn't that a cute idea!!  check out her story, then head over and say hi!



When I agreed to take part in this guest post I thought it would be easy to write a post about life in my shoes. How hard could it be? They are my shoes...right? Hmmm...then why was this so hard to write?



I suppose that any exercise that involves stopping and examining your life can be both enlightening and challenging. Life in my shoes is pretty good. I’m a stay at home mom to two beautiful, funny and smart girls. My husband is my friend and this year we are celebrating 20 years since our very first date...in high school. See, life is pretty good.

My shoes have carried me down many paths over the years - mother isn’t the only role that I have play - it’s just the one I’m performing right now. When I think about my life and what values I wish to pass on to my girls the first thing that pops into my mind is empathy. Unfortunately, this is a tough one to “teach”. I sort of think empathy is learned through experience...and you either get it or you don’t. My wish is that some day when my daughters are faced with the choice of sitting beside a stranger and listening to that person's story, they will choose to take the time. How do you teach that?!


Am I idealistic? Not sure. Am I realistic? Not sure. Am I cynical? Not sure. Those are the things I’m not so sure about. What I do know is that being at home and spending this time with my girls is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. On the other hand, I walked away from a career that I loved. I gave up the social part of me that was growing so nicely. True, I got a lot in exchange...but it is still challenging being a stay at home mom.


If you asked my girls to describe me...well, I shiver to think what they might say. I’m sure it would be something like; she’s crafty, she’s a good baker, she likes to garden, she always wants a hug. I hope this is what they would say. When they are teenagers, I’m sure things will change. I’ll take what I can get, while I can get it.


So, the shoes I wear these days are comfortable and ready for anything - kind of like me!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas dominoes matching printable

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Bear and i had fun this morning playing a snowflake domino matching game that we got in our last issue of Highlights High Five.  so we decided to make up our own Christmas domino/matching game.  all you have to do is sAVe the image to your computer and pRiNT it!  then cUT them out, making sure there are 2 sQuaREs per piece (you'll notice that one of the rows has to be cut horizontally in order for them to be even pieces.)




the rules of the game are simple:
1.  hand out 5 pieces to each player
2.  place one domino in the center as a starter piece
3.  take turns placing the dominoes up end-to-end on your playing surface
4.  pieces can be matched up horizontally or vertically
5.  keep going until all the pieces are used up

enjoy and have fun!!  more printables to come soon!

 
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

egg crack painting

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Not the most poetic title for a blog post, huh?  But it's what Bear named this technique when he was 3 yrs old, so I go with it.  I saw this project on a news segment that Deborah Stewart from Teach Preschool did.

Bear loves to cook.  He always wants to help  crack the eggs.  So you can imagine his excitement when he found out we were going to do this project!  I filled up a dozen plastic easter eggs with watered down craft paint, taped paper in the bottom of a large bin, and let him take it from there.


After he'd dumped them all, he looked so sad because he thought the fun was over.  He didn't realize that we could turn it into shake ball art and keep going! 


And of course, if we make a mess together, we clean together.

Here are just some of his creations.  ((I ended up making 3 batches of eggs that day!))
 
 
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

the fedex shirt

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this is a short post today.  i seem to be a bit behind the 8 ball with things lately.

my little Bear has a fascination with certain brands and logos.  he loves when the fedex truck comes to our house.  so i we he decided that i should make him his own FedEx shirt.  so this is what i came up with.  he wears it as soon as it comes out of the clean clothes.  i guess that means he likes it, huh?



 
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Monday, December 5, 2011

in {her} shoes...nicole

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happy monday to all of you!  how was your weekend?  ours was white because we got our first snowfall of the year!  i had a happy mommy moment yesterday when i took Bear sledding for the first time!  and on the mommy note, today's in {her} shoes guest poster is Nicole from Davis Domestications.  she does some amazing things with furniture....especially this butterfly desk.  i want it and totally wish i was in texas so i could get it!



Howdy ya'll! I'm Nicole from Davis Domestications. This was really hard for me to write, so bare with me. I don't have a story like some of these moms on here, it was just hard for me to write. Here I go...

Photobucket

The Mommy Club was a club I never really thought I'd join. I was petrified of being a bad mom, of not caring (I never had much patience for kids as a kid/teen). I always thought that IF I ever did have kids, I would have been married for 5 years and probably adopt or something.

HA!


I got married shortly after my 21st b-day and 3 weeks later I got pregnant. I had an identity crisis. In one year I went from being an independent single gal in the Army with a career ahead of me to being a dependent (I got out of the Army so I could raise the baby.) married gal with a baby and a failing marriage. It ended when my Little Man was just over 1 1/2.  I just couldn't stay in my situation... All of my family is 2 states away, so I had no support. Enough of that part.
Being a young single mom with a little paying job wasn't easy, I didn't do anything except go to work, and hang out with my little man.  I loved that part. I surprised myself all the time with how consistent I was with him, how much I loved him how much I enjoyed him, how I actually did have some Mommy Skills. ;)



I had a huge double standard. I didn't want to even think of dating someone if they had been married or had kids. I didn't know how that would go. When I met Timothy, I asked him what my Little Man would be to him if things did get serious, he answered, "I'd raise him as my own son." Hook, line, and sinker. We were married shortly after Little Man's 3rd birthday.
Timothy is all I could have ever wanted and more. We've celebrated our 6th Anniversary and actually got to go out on a date for it. ♥

After two years of "not preventing" anything, and nothing happening, I decided to go ahead and sell my baby stuff since it was taking up valuable real estate in our cozy 756 sq. ft. home. You guessed it, I found out I was pregnant shortly after. Eek! When I was 6 months pregnant I got fired "not b/c you're pregnant"...right. I was adored there till I told them I was having a baby.  Guess that was God's way of making sure I was able to be a SAHM again. ;)


Little Dude arrived a month early. He had to stay in the hospital for a week and had all types of wires/tubes/etc. on him. It freaked me out. He didn't like to be held. Touching him did NOT comfort him. He didn't like to sleep, or eat. I don't think I got to get a whole night's sleep till he was at least 18 months old. He was a little behind on all the "charts" but I wasn't worried. Since then he has pretty much caught up and is a joy.


After I realized that my Little Dude would be a single kiddo when he was in the 6th grade, we decided to "not prevent" anything. My little Sweetheart was born 25 months later. Once again, I thought God was having a hay day with me and I was His comic relief. Why? I was so not the girlie girl growing up. I was a total tomboy. I am just now learning how to embrace my womanhood. :) Well, God knew she just what I needed. She was the reason I started being crafty again. I enjoy her so much more than I ever thought possible. The funny thing is I can tell already she's going to be a girlie girl. Guess I've got a lot of learning to do! ;o)

As a mom of three kids, DS9, DS3, and DD1 (in 1 week!) I struggle to find balance in life. I want to be the best mom and wife I can be. I also want to be good to myself-it’s so easy to put me way last-but I need to be of healthy mind/body/soul to be what I want to be for my family.  I seem to go in cycles.  When I take the time to do what I want to do (furniture face-lifts, blogging, etc.), I find that everything else starts to get less attention to it. You know, the house isn’t as clean, I am behind on laundry, I am not spending as much time as I feel I should with the kids/hubby.  That’s why I end up doing a few posts one week and then none for a while. :o/  When the DD1 is asleep, I try to spend some 1 on 1 time with my DD3. Then once my 2 youngest are in bed, I try to spend some 1 on 1 time with my DS9 before he goes to bed. Then it’s my hubby’s turn. By the time it’s MY turn, I am tired. I’m not a morning person anymore. I used to be, but not now. I’m not a night person now either. Lol.
 

I do a Bible study at church and I struggle to find a good time to really do my “homework”.  I don't want to just rush it and get it "done", I want to glean as much as I can from it. If I get up early, I can’t seem to wake up enough to really get anything out of it…I start drifting off.  Same with if I do it before I go to sleep.  However, the other night I wasn’t feeling that great so I decided to take a bubble bath. Then I had the bright idea of doing my Bible study in there.  It was great. J Guess I’ll just have to soak every night.


Sometimes I struggle with feeling sorry for myself I guess. Sometimes I focus on what I can’t do b/c I need a babysitter and can’t really afford one for 3 kids. I’d kid swap but everyone I know with kids has family that watches their kids so they don’t need anyone to swap with. We don’t have any family here that really give a darn. (another struggle of mine.) I don’t remember the last time my hubby and I got to go on a REAL date. We have dates at home once the kids are in bed, but it’s just not the same. Other times I find myself envious of my hubby b/c he gets to be by himself anytime he pleases. I realize that sounds really bad, but it's because he's off on his own a lot with work. So when he wants to do something, I usually say "go for it" because he needs to clear his head from all the craziness of being solely responsible for a family of 5. :)  Most of the time when I ask to go do something by myself I can, but with him not having a regular job (he’s self employed) I never know when he’s going to be here or working.
 

I also find myself frustrated with where we are in life. Since we have our own business, we live off of what we bring in. Sometimes it's great and I can pay all the bills before the month has begun.  Other months, I am using the "grace" period for some bills. :/ I am a gal who likes stability, so this can be very stressful to me. We live in really tiny house with no storage space/closets/garage, etc. We’ve redone a lot of it but there’s not a room that doesn't still have things that need work on. (I’m not talking about decorating here either. I’d do them if I could, but I either don’t know how or there’s no way I could do them with the kids running around.) With having my hubby’s business out of our home, all his supplies/tools, etc. are here, this just adds to the craziness. I am embarrassed to have people I just met over to our work in progress house. (Pride, I know.) Sometimes it really really bothers me.
I am not trying to have a pity party here, I am just keeping it real and sharing my struggles as a wife/mom/me. :)


With all my struggles, I also have a TON to be grateful for.

I have the Lord in my life.  He’s blessed me and my family so much, sometimes I don't see it and have to be reminded. ;)

I met my hubby when my DS9 was 2. He has taken him as his own. DH’s amazing. I have been so blessed with a hubby who loves, really loves me and our kiddos. He’s honest, faithful, loving, and giving. He’s brilliant-he’s the one that has really done our house…I can demo/paint, but he’s moved electrical, plumbing, built headers for our load bearing walls that we knocked down, etc. He can fix anything.  He’s my Mr. Incredible. I could go on and on.
 

We have a house. It’s not the best, but it’s ours.  If we lived in a nicer neighborhood I’d get into trouble for having a bunch of tree limbs in our front yard. (I’ve slowly been able to trim our two trees out front, but I can only work on it during certain times…I’m not having my kids roam free in the house or in the yard when I am out front working with power tools and my DH isn’t here. Lol). We’ve been able to transform our house to fit our needs. (It's now about 956 sq. ft. lol)
 
We have wonderful kids who have brought so much to our lives and have taught us so much. I love them more than I thought I could love anything.
   
 
We have a wonderful church family.
I have a few really close friends. I ♥ them.

With my hubby having his own business (that usually consists of just him) he’s able to be there if I need him, if my DS9 has an event at school, etc. It may be tight $ wise, but God has been faithful and always provided the means when we need it. I’ve grown so much in that area. Of course I’d love some stability, but these past 4 years have really grown my faith.  He’s taught me to lean on Him and Him alone. He’s in control. Praise the Lord for that!

We know how to have fun and enjoy the little things in life.

If you are still reading this, wow. I just reread what I wrote. I think this is the longest post I've ever written.

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