Thursday, February 27, 2014


Sawyer participated in gymnastics again this winter. He loved it yet again!

It was pretty amazing to see the difference a year makes. He was in the same 3-4's class, but you could tell he had matured a great deal in 1 year. Last year he was constantly bouncing off the walls, crying for mommy, would not sit and wait for his turn, etc. This year he was one of the older kids in class and he did a great job listening to the instructor, waiting for his turn and sitting still. And the best part there were no tears or running away! It did a momma's heart good to see that age and maturity really do make a difference.

He still refused to do the warm-up at first. I don't know if this has to do with his perfectionist tendencies or he just didn't care to do the non-active exercises, but we talked to him about the importance of listening to his teachers (plus a little candy bribery) and he eventually started participating and actually enjoying the warm-up.

Here's a little look at the action:



Being angry because a little girl took his carpet square

attempting a cartwheel

on the big balance beam

always proud to come tell me about his class and show me his "good job" stamp

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Snow Days

You know you've had a LOT of snow days when your kids wake up, look outside, see a fresh coating of snow and declare they are once again stuck in a cage. Yes, we have been home bound a lot this winter. Sometimes, it's nice to have a day with no plans and I can catch up around the house. However, typically by the 2nd day of being home bound we are going stir crazy!

To further complicate the situation the temperature has been so COLD we can't even get out and enjoy the snow. Until recently…after a large ice/snowstorm in the middle of the night it actually warmed up above 20 degrees. After nap I mentioned to the kids that when Daddy got home they were going to play outside. They could hardly contain themselves! The dressing commenced immediately (even though they had over an hour to wait).

Here is what ensued:
waiting at the window for Daddy

 Putting the 1st footprints in the fresh snow

And of course pelting each other with snow balls. I worried this might turn into a fight, but they both loved it even when they got hit in the face, silly kids obviously needed some outdoor time 

They were so excited to get out in the snow!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Girly Goodies

Over the last few weeks I've had the pleasure of creating some girlie goodies for sweet little ones in my life.

Front or Back tie pillow case dress from a vintage pillow case
I don't really follow a tutorial anymore since I've made so many of these, but here are 2 good tutorials for pillowcase dresses:
Prudent Baby
Mother Huddle

Paper Bag Dress
Then I tried my hand at a tutorial I spotted on Pinterest from Caila Made, the Paper Bag Dress. It was super easy and I used fabric I already had on hand for both dresses. The pink flower dress is for Nora this summer. The aqua/yellow/gray dress was for a friend who was turning 1. I altered the tutorial sizing to make it a 12-18 month fit. I love the 2nd one so much I believe I will be making another one in Nora's size.

I was going through my fabric stash and found a couple of things I've been meaning to accomplish and I finally took the time to do them. The dress above was actually a women's maxi skirt I purchased for myself at Goodwill. Well the top did not stretch to my liking (i.e. it was too small), but I knew I could re-purpose the material. It sat for about a year until I finally pulled it out and tried it on Nora. I simply took in the top portion a little bit, folded over the top (it was like a yoga pant waistband) and sewed it down, cut the dress to the length I liked and added straps made from fabric I cut away. It probably took less than 30 minutes to make the whole dress. Because it's jersey I didn't even hem the bottom. The task that took the longest was getting Nora to try it on multiple times to ensure the correct length and then again to fit the straps.

When Sawyer saw it he declared it a beach dress and I think that's the perfect idea!

Also while perusing my fabric stash I found a yard of cute flannel. I use to use flannel all the time, but I haven't in a while so instead of waiting for the perfect project my goal was simply to use the fabric for a constructive purpose. And the result is a pair of pajama pants for Nora. I used the MADE basic pants pattern and tutorial. I made them big with the hope they will fit next winter and they will probably end up being a birthday gift in August…I guess I'm just ahead of the game for once.

New Nursing Cover

Lots of new babies in my life recently, which means I get to make new baby items! For this particular friend I wanted to make a nursing cover. I made several traditional nursing covers that feature a wide piece of fabric that you place over your neck. I was about to embark on another nursing cover when I saw this new take on a nursing cover. I thought it was such a clever idea, somewhat stylish and as an added bonus it covers your back and front. 

And to make it even better it literally took less than 15 minutes to make. You better I will be making another one before baby Fred arrives.

I purchased the black/white/gray knit fabric from Joann's. I used the tutorial provided by Bellapia Clothing Co.

Friday, February 21, 2014


This was Sawyer's 1st sledding experience. It occurred before Christmas, but I wanted to make sure and record it. It was a brutally cold and windy day (you may have noticed in the video) so only Sawyer and Daddy went to the big hill at Malone. To say he loved it would be an understatement.

He went up and down the hill over and over for well over an hour. When he could no longer walk up the hill he crawled. He was relentless in his pursuit of fast fun!

This was also early enough in the season that snow was a novelty…now we're all ready for the white stuff to go away :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Name Game

Naming the 3rd baby has become even more complex since we now have 2 little ones chiming in and they are quite adamant about their selections.

Some of Sawyer's early suggestions included:

The first 3 names are some of Sawyer's friends :) But around week 12 of this pregnancy he decided the babies name was Fred and he refuses to discuss any other names. So even though Fred will not be his given name he may forever be called Fred :)

Nora's Nominations:
French Fry

Nora insists the babies name is French Fry. She is open to other suggestions but at the end of the conversation she always chooses French Fry.

This time Kyle and I approached the name game differently than previous pregnancies. First of all we didn't have any name conversations until we knew the gender. We were busy and I knew there was no sense discussing because Kyle wouldn't take it seriously until we knew the gender. Also, we chose the first letter of the 1st name first (sorry if that is confusing) thus eliminating lots of names.

Our first conversation occurred on our drive to Kansas for Thanksgiving. It was the first time we were able to sit and chat for an extended period. We came up with a good 5-7 names we were both okay with. Then months went by with very little discussion due Kyle's hectic recruiting schedule. In my guilt (not really) of already neglecting the 3rd child I told Kyle we had to schedule a name conversation so we set the date for the Saturday following signing day :) That Saturday came and went with no discussion. Finally on Sunday night I mentioned it right before we went to bed and Kyle surprisingly said "I've been waiting for you to bring it up! I know the name do you want me to tell you?" I was shocked at his decisiveness…what no conversation, no discussion, no hemming and hawing for weeks?Nope not this time. He literally declared the name and it was right in line with my thoughts so I am happy to report Baby #3 has a full name!

But you'll have to wait a few more weeks to find out. And for the sneaky ones out there the kids mouths are sealed.

And what's a post without at least 1 picture? Here's a random shot of Nora wearing a funny hat around the house.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Closet Experiment

I'm not the best housekeeper in the world...just ask my husband he gets to see the house destroyed most days. I don't mind picking up or cleaning but there is one chore that I HATE above all else...putting away laundry! I will do laundry and fold clothes all day long but I detest putting it all away.

My husband thinks I'm crazy, but in a dream world if we lived in a dream house I would have a family closet in a large laundry room. Then I could fold and put things away immediately without having to make stacks of clothes, carry them upstairs and distribute them to the appropriate drawers. I probably sound really lazy, but truly I think this would help the laundry situation. Currently I do laundry every 2 weeks. I do it all in 1 day then the folded clothes sit in baskets for the next 2 weeks until I have to empty them for the next round of laundry...see not so efficient or easy to find our clothes.

To compound the issue our kids clothes and laundry hamper are upstairs in their room but 98% of the time they get dressed for the day and put on their pj's at night in the basement. This creates a huge pile-up of dirty clothes in the family room.

the original storage unit

In an attempt to corral the laundry situation I decided it was time to make an attempt at a family closet, a mini family closet if you will. I didn't want to invest a lot of money in case the experiment failed, so I cleared off a shelving unit we had in the basement laundry room. Then I purchased a few storage boxes. I also brought down a laundry basket that had just been sitting in the guest room for years. Each child has 1 storage basket with their everyday clothes. The 3rd storage basket has both of their pajamas. Then they each have a small box that fits their underwear and socks. Their off season clothes and church clothes still reside in their bedroom, but I figure going into their room once a week for church clothes isn't too big of an issue :) The top shelf is the kids art supplies and the bottom shelf is currently empty.
The family closet
It's not pretty to look at, but it is oh so functional and literally within feet of the family room (out the door pictured) and the laundry machine (to the right of the shelves).

I am happy to report that the 1st laundry cycle was a success for the family closet...the same cannot be said for the adult clothes of the house as days later they still sit folded in the basket downstairs. As I was folding the laundry I brought out the storage cubes and as I folded the clothes I put them in their respective baskets. Then all I had to do was put the baskets back on the easy! I know this doesn't sound revolutionary, but when you have a busy, expanding family anything to make life more efficient is a wonderful thing!

And just because I like to add some fun color to any project I made fabric name tags with scrap fabric. This also makes identifying the baskets easier for the kids. Now they can get their own clothes.

a look inside Nora's basket, one stack of pants and one stack of shirts

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Things I loved on the day of love plus some of the things they loved too:

Sawyer's Valentine's treats for his class

My girl and her accessories

kisses and laughs from my baby girl


My boy and his recent Lego obsession (we created the truck and Spiderman motorcycle in the morning)

steak and potato dinner for my love and our traditional chocolate fondue for dessert (and lest you think we forgot the veggies we did have broccoli, but Sawyer ate the entire platter by himself and wouldn't touch his steak…his daddy is a little worried about him :)

the kids devouring the chocolate fondue

the LOVE others showered on our kiddos…you may spy some Christmas candy and that would be from us, hey it was on clearance and it was red…they'll never know. They got lots of candy and stickers. We got them the red plates and water bottles.

The kids loving their new stuff, we had stickers everywhere by the time dinner was on the table

and my favorite LOVES relaxing for the evening (yes, this is how Sawyer relaxes :) 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

32 weeks {Baby #3}

Seriously not the best picture, but when it is below freezing and you have snow up to your knees a fogged over lens and sun ray will have to do.

How far along: 32 weeks
Total weight gain: 25 lbs.
Maternity clothes: Yes
Sleep: okay, it's getting a bit more difficult as my back and stomach are usually pretty sore by the end of the day
Best moment this week: Confirming that the baby is head down
Movement: Yes, all the time, especially at night. Kyle and I typically relax together in bed for about an hour before going to sleep and that is when he is most active. There is constant movement, kicks and jabs.
Food cravings: nothing specific, I haven't been very hungry, but my sweet tooth is definitely back in full force
What I'm missing: being able to bend over comfortably
What I'm looking forward to: Setting up his crib

Since I am now on the bi-weekly doctor visits I've had two appointments in the past month.

At my 30 week appointment everything looked great (blood pressure, measurements, weight, etc). The babies heart rate was 148 bpm. I have started to feel the Braxton Hicks contractions when I overexert myself. It is also becoming quite uncomfortable to sit.

The 32 week appointment also went well. My blood pressure was good and I had zero weight gain. The babies heart beat was 162 bpm. And the great news is he is head down. I was unsure of his positioning, but the doctor could immediately tell he was head down.

I'm hitting the uncomfortable stage. With the 1st 2 pregnancies I didn't reach that mark until the final month. This time I have 2 months to go and there are certainly points during the day where I am uncomfortable. But I am choosing to give myself grace and have already started to slow down. We've been reading a lot more books and going out a lot less (the weather is also a contributing factor). The kids are doing most of the picking up of toys and being more independent as they get on their clothes and shoes. I'm just thankful I know the end result and can see the light at the end of the tunnel :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

4 year interview

I know it's well past his birthday, but I've been having fits with Vimeo so it's taken me a while to get this uploaded.

Every year (starting when he was 3) I ask him a series of questions. This year it took 2 takes because in the 1st interview he was answering questions exactly the same as last year, which I knew were not the authentic answers. I told Kyle about it and he mentioned that Sawyer loves to watch his 3 year interview on the iPad and therefore had memorized all the questions and answers. Oh boy!

So a few days later and after a little conversation about answering truthfully here's his 4 year interview


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Popcorn Bar {Dr. Suess Baby Shower}

I recently helped with a baby shower for a church friend. Her nursery is Dr. Suess themed so the organizers ran with the Dr. Suess inspiration.

My contribution was the popcorn bar. I saw the idea on Scrapaholics and I then proceeded to turn my house into a popcorn factory :) Making gourmet popcorn is not a difficult task, but when you make it in very large quantities (what's on the table is only about 1/2 of what I made) it can be quite the scene. We had popcorn, oil and ingredients everywhere. Then on my last batch as I opened a new bag of popcorn kernels I was a little too vigorous and the bag ripped and popcorn kernels rained down all over the floor. Oh it was a sight, but the end result was fun and delicious.

I made 4 different varieties of gourmet popcorn: salted caramel, cake batter, chili cheese and cajun spice. The cake batter flavor was hands down the favorite…warning it can be quite addictive. Also, on another note my kids helped me make the cake batter popcorn and now they think all popcorn should have sprinkles :) The cajun spice was the easiest to make and the healthiest of all the recipes (i.e. no butter).

It was a pretty simple set-up. I used my own and borrowed a few large glass jars. Then I wrapped ribbon around them and attached a printable I made. The table features a white tablecloth and orange chevron fabric I already had. I found the "Hop on Popcorn Bar" picture online then added my own popcorn varieties.

This one was also very good! 

There were several people involved with the shower and they all came up with some fun Suessical ideas.

Red and white cupcakes to mimic the Cat's Hat

table centerpieces with Dr. Suess fabric, a Suess book and accompanying stuffed animal

the gift table accented with a bunting made from Dr. Suess book pages.
I also created the food labels for the event. Feel free to use for your personal use if planning a Dr. Suess party. Simply click on the image to enlarge then right click and save to your computer.