Thursday, December 20, 2012

In Canada...

... we teach the kidlings to shovel snow at an early age!

 Cause for goodness sake, this mama doesn't wanna be outside in the cold any more than she has to be! :)

Little Love Notes

Alia has been learning how to read/write and it's been fun to see what she comes up with! 

 An extra parent perk... ... finding little love notes left for us around the house!

 This one was waiting for me on the bathroom counter as I got ready Saturday morning! :)

Merry Magnets

Every year we take a "sisters pic" of all our little ladies to put on a magnet for family and friends. And I love how each year the girls' personalities shine through! 

 Here are a couple snapshots of our 5 minute photo shoot from this year! And being as I completely forgot about ordering them until the last minute it was a - "Hey girls, sit here and smile!" in whatever outfits they had on - type deal! 

 The two big girls were great about the whole thing...  

... could be because I bribed them with a piece of candy for when we were finished... :)

... but the littlest lady, not as much!

She was more interested in the items I gave her to keep from diving off the chair...

... than in actually smiling at the crazy waving lady with the camera!

So in the end... here's the "Merry Magnet" winner of the year! 

Every time I look at it I can't help but chuckle a bit! :)

Daughter #1 ...

... daughter #2

... and daughter # 3!

My oh my... we. are. so. blessed!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This Here Cowgirl...

... has got the horse fever bad!

And shhhh, no one tell her that pajamas and cowboy boots aren't in this season! :)

I've Yet to Get...

... a baby gate for any of our children and I refuse to now, so once in a blue moon I have to improvise!

It buys me... oh, say 10 minutes or so!

And some days... I'll take any extra minutes I can get a hold of!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Girls Helped Decorate the Christmas Tree...

Can you tell?!?! :)

Little Things...

... like, "Look Mom! I'm making an 'N' with my foot!"

... make my day a little more smiley!


Savoring that cute little baby bum stuck high in the air while she dreams! 

Sunshiney Shin Dig

My oh my... where did I leave you last?!?! Ahhh, yes! The biggest peanut was cruising around the yard on her four wheeler... the middle maiden was sweetening up by the second... and the little lady was strolling all over the house with a trail of evidence behind her!

That same little lady also had a big birthday par-tay a couple Sundays ago!! Seeing as last minute is how I usually role and I'd already gone through the work of painting a "You are My Sunshine" canvas for the girls room this past spring... the "You are My Sunshine" theme just seemed to come together! We invited our closest friends and nearest family and had a grand ole' sunshiney shin dig! 

We got bright yellow flowery headbands for all the littlest party attenders to take home with them... and they all seemed to like them, except one! The birthday girl herself! There was just no chance she was going to be seen with a yellow flower on her head... no way, no how!

And she wasn't too keen on picture taking either! :)

Decor was kept simple... as always!

I used the sign from the girls bedroom... made some scrapbook paper garland to hang all over the place... 
and just added bits of yellow to add festive fun where I could!

And found this great FREE printable that went along perfectly for the party!

The menu consisted of deviled eggs (it's the first thing I thought of to go with the yellow theme!), cheese, chips, veggies, crescents and chicken salad...

... and of course, CUPCAKES!

We had both regular and gluten free to accommodate all in attendance!

The birthday girl was overwhelmingly a fan of her gluten free one!

And had a crazy sugar high until 10 pm to prove it! :)

Okay... so if you don't remember, we have a really small house! And our closest friends and family come out to about 30 people. Which means that the birthday party was pretty much standing room or sit on each other's lap room only!!

 The kids hung out at the kids table (in dress up clothes, of course!)... 

... and the adults simply found space wherever they could! (And as we've done with parties in the past... the guys got "banished" to the basement. What can I say? They don't complain as long as their plates are full!)

Sadly, it was after this party that we declared it to be our last in our present house! We will need to be looking for alternatives in the near future!

Anyhow... back to the sunshiney shin dig... we are blessed! SO BLESSED!

Caidrie got a crazy amount of gifts, all filled with love... and cared more about the small package of Popcorn Twists she received than any of the other nicely wrapped gifts after that! So big sisters stepped in and gave her a helping hand!

Again... it was fun! It was tight! But it was worth it to celebrate our favorite littlest lady's first trip around the sun!

My oh my we are blessed... have I mentioned that?!?! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Jonathan Assures Me...

... that Alia learned this all on her very own! 

But I'm stumped...

... where in the world would she have seen this demonstrated before?!?! :)

Middle Maiden

This little ballerina... 

... the one with the beautiful blue eyes...

... is growing up.

The temper tantrums are getting fewer and farther between. The screaming has been replaced with yelling "Mommy, I LOVE YOU!" at any given moment for somewhere in the house. The many, what seemed like, intentional messes have given way to an incredibly willing servant. The "ME, ME, ME's" are slowly being replaced by going out of her way to make someone smile.

Our two year old is getting closer to three... and it shows in so many ways!

And I breathe a sigh of relief. Not because our troubles are over... as long as we are parents they are bound to appear... but that I am FINALLY seeing Larren for who she is. Seeing her true colors, if you will. 

She is stubborn, YES! But oh... she is crazy sweet! She is loud... but SO tender hearted! She is small... but has a BIG desire to serve those around her! She is rough, at times... but is the first to protect the under dog. She is finding her place in our pack of pink... but will step aside in a second so big sister can be in the spotlight. 

Add to the list her cute little bum just begging to be pinched, a make-you-melt lisp when she says her S's, her sweet yet sassy pointing finger that comes out quite often, and her give-it-all-she's-got squeezes... and we absolutely couldn't ask for a better middle maiden in our family!

Friends with Horses

Horses... oh my! We have some crazy horse loving girls in our house! And the more they hang out with some of our best friends, and their horse loving girls, the deeper the fever goes!  

We have horse shows, almost daily, with jumps and rotations and maintaining eye contact and keeping the horse between you and the judge at all times... the whole nine yards!

(Yes... that is Alia's "horse" and "halter" balancing on the "winner's platform"... where there's an imagination, there's a way!!!)

And a stable to go back to after the show... with gates to TRY to keep little sister out, of course!

Tracy even brought over some chaps and a western shirt for Alia to borrow... 

... which really "helped" the cause!! 

I tell ya... it's a good thing we love these certain friends so much... because the more we hang out with them the more I see some mighty big price tags looming in our future!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Oh the Drama!

#2 is always trying to protect #3...

... but it's typically #2 that I'm protecting #3 from!

And #1 isn't sure who's side to be on... so her standard response is to whop #2, since she tends to be a bit more guilty than #3.

When really #3 is learning that the louder she cries the more things go in her favor. So who's to blame? #1, #2, or #3?

Let's just send them all to bed and restart again in the morning, shall we?! :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gold Medal Gymnasts

The end of October snuck up quickly on us this year! Before we knew it we were going for walks with hats and mittens on, getting out the fall decor, picking the "perfect" pumpkins, and planning out what the girls would don for Hallapalooza! 

We started the whole pumpkin carving tradition last year and carried it on with round two this year. Last fall a kitty cat was the pick from our ladies... and this year, it was voted top choice yet again! We went with a different design... but I guess our girls are trying to hint at something! :)

They are still too small to do the actual carving, but they sure try to help anyway they can! 

Getting out the ooey gooey pumpkin seeds was, surprisingly, the highlight for Alia and Larren this year... which is quite a big difference from the last round! 

The memory of yummy salted roasted pumpkin seeds might have helped spur them on a little!

Jon and I both took a go at carving the kitty cat, and while neither of us are pros... it sure is fun, eh?! We might have to add more pumpkins to the rap sheet for next year!

So here she is... doesn't our little meow meow look friendly and inviting?! That's the look we were going for... we aren't into scaring the neighbor kids! We leave a big bowl of candy on the verandah while we're at Hallapalooza and we want it to be EMPTY when we get home!!

And here's the kitty from last year, for a year by year comparison!

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The Olympics really caught Alia's attention this year, and when I gave her the list of costume options she could chose from for Hallapalooza, the Olympic gymnast got a mighty big applause!

So we made a trip to the dollar store, got our creative juices flowing, and whipped up the girls costumes in no time!

Their "medals" were just glitter paper glued together with purple ribbon that said London 2012 on the side using scrap booking stickers. Their "torches" were card stock and construction paper cut & glued to look like flames, and our friends brought sparkles to put in their hair which totally sealed the costume!

Alia and Larren wore two of Alia's gymnastic leotards, while Caidrie just wore her *cough cough* bathing suit! Hey... it works!! :)

Their costumes were cheap, easy, and ADORED by the trio of gymnasts!  

Hallapalooza was fabulous, as always, with lots of games... more candy than ever... and great friends to share it with!

(You can also see our Hallapalooza fun from last year, if you missed it!)

Our kids don't drink pop... ever... because to them it's "too spicy!" But at this particular station they had to guess which cup was Coke and which was Pepsi! Did the fact that they despise pop detour them? Absolutely not! They saw that big bowl of candy and downed the "spicy bop" with a classic "You guys really drink this stuff?!" face! Oh the things kids will do for Reese's Pieces... that wouldn't be a learned trait or anything, would it?! And for the record... Alia said Pepsi was better!! :)

The littlest gymnast with her "coach!"

Caidrie really got into this whole gymnast thing and decided to try her hand at her first commercial shoot!

Yes... fall is/was a blur of busyness... and I constantly feel "behind"... but I've realized that one day my house will be spotless and completely organized, my schedule will be predictable, meal times quiet and uneventful... while I look back at these crazy days with longing! 

So I'm daily making the CHOICE to find joy in the little things. Like wrinkly pumpkins on the verandah steps, glitter from the girls gold medals sprinkled through out the house, the pleas for candy on a consistent basis, and the fall decorations still displayed while snow falls outside the window. 

Remind me I'm looking for joy when we're in the dead of winter with mounds of snowsuits and wet boots piled by the door, okay?!?! :)