Monday, January 26, 2015

14 days of {love} 2015

It's that time of year again...for my 14 days of {love}!  
I have done this for two years now and the kids love it so much, I can't think about stopping it now.  It really is not about spending a lot of time or money {my list of things to buy for these days is pretty short!}, but just celebrating Valentine's Day & love a little longer!
You can see what we did in 2013 & 2014 too!

My 14 days of {love) is simply a small activity to do with the kiddos each day from February 1-14.  We don't fit in a lot of crafting in our everyday, so this simply helps make spending time together more intentional {my one little word of the year}!  I put the note and the supplies {the ones that will fit} in their little mailboxes every morning and we do the activity when we have time in our day, which usually means after school.

I was lazy simplified my Valentine decorations this year to one table top...we're calling it good!

Here is this year's list:

14 Days of Love Mailboxes 2015
February 1 – “Your love is the ‘key’ to my heart” – Make key chains
Minecraft Keychains
February 2 – “A kiss might be ‘mice’” – Make Hershey kisses mice
DIY Valentine's Day Hershey's Kisses Mice
February 3 – “I love you to pieces” – Create a puffy tissue paper heart
Valentines Crafts for Kids: Tissue Paper Heart. Great snow day activity. From
February 4 – “Your love warms my heart” – Make strawberry hot
Valentines Strawberry Hot Chocolate Recipe
February 5 – “Family near and far love you” – Make a phone call to tell
family you love them
February 6 – “Your love is no joke” – Unscramble Valentine jokes
Valentine's Day jokes for kids - Valentine riddles - free printable party games, puzzles, decode a message - Valentine coloring pages - use in school class party as an activity
February 7 – “Love Birds” – Make fruit loop bird feeder
Super easy craft perfect for the little ones. Preschool Valentine Crafts Fruit Loop Bird Feeder from #easycrafts
February 8 - “You are so sweet!”  Chocolate Fondue at home!
February 9 – “We have chemistry!” – Perform some conversation heart
Science Experiments Kids Can Do : []
February 10 – “BFFs” – Give Valentine’s to friends today!
February 11 – “You are so silly!” – Make a red solo cup man
Red Solo Cup Valentine's Day Craft For Kids {Heart Man} #Funny valentines card idea #cheap art project |
February 12 – “I have 5 reasons I love you so!” – Make cards with
handprints and list 5 reasons you love someone.
February 13 – “My heart jumps for you!” – Make a frog from heart
List of Easy Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids - Sassy Dealz
February 14 - Happy Valentine’s Day! – Surprise!

Monday, January 19, 2015

prom 2015

This last weekend we had our annual "Garmin Prom".
You can see last year's prom here {yes I did get Ryan to dress up a little more this year :)} & you can check out all the year's before now here.

  We are pretty much pros at this since we have been doing this for like 15 years does this make us super old, or what???  See we have the prom pose in front of the fireplace down pat....

But you can also see what dork of a husband I have and the rest of the "outtakes" look pretty much like this {I told you, Ryan, I was posting these :)}...
Every time we take a picture I tell Ryan he has to show his teeth {seriously Ellie now tells him this now too} or he looks like he's mad in pictures, so he thought he would be so funny and really show his teeth...

I didn't even realize he was doing it here...stinker :)!

Then the official Garmin picture...I am still ANGRY that they refuse to do a vertical shot anymore...really when you are dressed up it needs to be a vertical shot and not a dumb horizontal with super bad lighting...seriously I don't think I have quite that many wrinkles...yet...haha...

While we are on the subject...Garmin decided to wait and only put out the desserts this year after the awards were one pretty small room....what???  Are they crazy???  Thousands of people trying to cram into one tiny room to get desserts at the same time...not to mention I usually only eat the dessert too.  Okay I am done, but if you are reading this and are apart of putting this thing together that needs to be fixed pronto...okay I am done :).

Back to fireplace's our first one EVER...
This was my senior year Sweetheart dance and about 5 months into us we have been together FOREVER!  I love it...I mean not very many people can keep these pictures around and look on them fondly!
Oh to be 17 again...

And our first ever dress up official picture...

Sweet memories...we aren't quite high school sweethearts {since Ryan wasn't in high school}, but this is pretty close. 

A few more pictures down memory lane...our first prom...and hopefully {as long as Garmin keeps doing them} we will have many more to go!

Love it & love that I still have this up currently in our house.

I love, love having pictures as memories from our past...too bad social media wasn't around more really when we were kids so that there would be more pictures saved from the past, but hopefully my kiddos will have more than enough pictures to capture their past...

Friday, January 16, 2015

the slow down

We are 16 days into 2015 and life around here has been nice & slow.  
Slow is not a word I think I have ever used on here before...usually life is CRAZY.  {Yep, in fact, searching my blog when give you at least 75 posts where I used the word crazy!}  Now I do {love} the crazy, and I know we will definitely be back there probably sooner rather than later, but slow is so needed right now and such a breath of fresh air! 

This year is about me trying to be intentional.  Instead of focusing on lofty goals, I merely want to try to live my life intentionally.  This means being intentional with my time {when to say yes & when to say no} & intentional with my relationships.

I am trying to intentionally embrace this slowness right now in our family.  That means not trying to fill our time up with the crazy, like I am often drawn to do, but instead feel blessed by what we have going on right now in the little, daily things.  When my kiddos were little & I was just starting to stay home with them full time, I yearned for doing things and felt like we never had that much going on.  I would fill up our time with attending lots of things {like 2 different story times in one week...yes I is sometimes nice to have 3 different libraries in a very close proximity to your house ;)}.  Now that our schedule is so full {trust me mamas with babies & toddlers...your schedule will be completely packed one day and you won't realize how it happened}, I cherish these brief moments where things aren't so crazy!  Intentional.

Here's what has been going on so far this month.
Lots of coffee & lots of reading actually....I would say that's the best way to embrace the slowness ;)!  Ryan & the kiddos got me free Starbucks for the month of January...{love} my coffee!  This month in my reading I have finished The Scorch Trials {Maze Runner series}, Serena {who's going to watch this movie in March with me??}, and now I am on The Death Cure {Maze Runner series}. That's pretty impressive for me lately.

My real Christmas tree was finally taken down...I think it left half of it inside my house in needles!  I {love} Christmas decorations, but it's also so refreshing when it all comes back down and my house feels so uncluttered again!

The kiddos had a nice LONG winter break.  Really the last week of it we just kind of hibernated at home and hung out together.  It was so nice not to have to go anywhere and just be slow, especially when they are playing nicely together!

We did have to get back to our normal schedule of school & nannying & MOPS & church...but things aren't really crazy right now because no one is doing any after school activities besides Wednesday night church, so our nights are still pretty open to just spend time together at home.  
This sign I made at MOPS at our first meeting it & a good reminder!

Back to early mornings after 2 1/2 weeks with no alarms, but this sunrise is pretty great!

Most of the beginning of January was freezing cold so that made a lot of playtime inside...poor Bella...she had to be an army/cowboy with Evan and even had guns hidden in her shirt :).

We hadn't gone many places so far this month, but the boys said they really wanted to do something one day after school.  I asked them what they wanted to do and they said they wanted to go to the library...{love}!  Yes, they may get just as many movies as books, but that's a start right ;)??

Not only have I been doing a lot of reading lately, but the kiddos have too! I am so happy about this because reading time is one of the first things that went before when we were in a crazy busy stage.  I want to be more intentional about keeping reading strong in our household, especially for my boys who haven't quite taken up a love for reading yet...
This girl however, maybe she will be my reader!!!  One day Ellie came to me and said Evan taught her this book.  She sat down and just read the whole thing to me!  Now it is a very emergent reader with picture clues & repetitive text and Ellie memorized it all, but she did so great for just turning 4!!  I am so proud of her!!  We have been working on other books now too and she seems to love "reading"...I hope she continues this passion!

On the other hand, this boy...loves destroying my very organized book shelves.  He loves getting the books out and counting them.  He said he was playing library and he was trying to find all the dog books...oh boy.  I was just amazed at how he completely shuffled all the different types of books together in such a short time...

because this is how they were found...  I can't handle his disorganization!  And nope we don't have enough books and no this is not even half of all of our kids books and yes I have a problem with getting rid of any book {my attic is still full of all my classroom library books from my teaching days and I had a TON}.

We do have quite a stack of books we are working on reading together every night after dinner.  I have found that reading at the dinner table before the kids even get up is the best time for us...bedtime just wasn't working because by the time they are ready for bed, I just want them to GO TO BED :).  Yes, we are reading a little from all 5 of these books currently & I love it!  No my kiddos are not the best listeners, not by a long shot {just ask Ryan}...I often have to stop reading due to screaming, crying, needing something...but I try to power through them as best as helps a little if they are still eating {if their mouth is full then they can't talk over me as much :)} or if they color while reading.  If you are wondering the books are:  Lego Friends  {Ellie's little "chapter" book}, The Long Winter {yes we are on #6 book of Laura Ingalls Wilder series that we have been reading since this summer...I am so proud of this accomplishment and they have pretty much loved's the best "listening" I have seen Evan ever do during a chapter book :)}, Magic Puppy:  Snowy Wishes {Avery is not a fluent independent chapter book reader yet, so this is the book that Avery & I take turns reading out loud together...he reads every other page}, The Amazing Story of Leo Messi {Avery has idolized Messi since the day he heard his name, but he didn't really know much about the guy so I got him this biography for Christmas that I read out loud a chapter every far Avery is loving it...Evan wants to know why there's no pictures :)}, and finally Star Wars Character Encyclopedia {this is Evan's "chapter" book...we read about 4 Star Wars Characters every night...exciting stuff ;)}.

And finally I leave you with our outside playtime that has happened the last two days!  It has finally warmed up so we need to enjoy it while we can before the next big freeze!  This is what I love about the slow be able to enjoy this!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 year in review

Welcome to 2015 & happy 2 year anniversary of this blog!  

I love all the documentation I have recorded now for my kiddos to read one day...I wonder what they will think?  I hope they love all these memories as much as me!  I feel like these kiddos are growing up super fast, but this is one way for me to slow down the time a bit.  I want to continue to make this blog a priority, even when the crazy life gets in the way...which it sometimes did in 2014.  Here's to a great 2015 ahead!

Let's take a look back to see what happened in 2014...
This year brought more changes in the schedule.  I began nannying a bit starting in March for a few months and then in August I started with the schedule of doing it Monday, Wednesday, Fridays from 7:30-1:30 while Ellie got to join me!  I also took up more of a leadership role in my MOPS as an assistant coordinator.  This along with both boys being in school and all three kiddos doing extracurricular activities brought little downtime in our lives, but I love our life and how crazy it is!

We updated the boys room at the beginning of 2014 to make it more of a big kids' room.

Avery tried out basketball for a wasn't his sport, but he still had fun!

The first of February brought a most unfortunate accident that involved some black ice, Ryan, a bike, and a broken hip!  Ugh!

We got lots of snow!

We finally entered the stage of being a completely diaper free family!!!  And Ellie began her first dance/gymnastics class!

My big first grader turned!

Our big vegetable garden for the season got started.

The boys started their spring soccer season playing together with Ryan as their coach...lots of fun!

This month brought the beginning of Ellie's spring soccer season too...we were in full on soccer mode!

A wonderful Easter with my family!

We also had a family photo shoot this month. I absolutely love how the pictures came out!

In the middle of soccer we threw in some baseball for Avery too!  Love watching my kiddos play sports!

My little boy graduated!

Ryan & I celebrated our 10 year anniversary in Jamaica!

While the kiddos spent their kid's only vacation at G&G's house!

We had a super fun camping trip with lots of our friends!

Evan learned to ride his bike without training wheels this summer!

Another fun outing this summer...this time to Shatto Milk!

We had a great 4th of July down at G&G's house!

In July we also had lots of fun on our family trip to Chicago!

Then we had a second grader!

AND a Kindergartner!  Oh Boy!

Ryan & I got baptized!

The kiddos had lots of fun on our trip to Omaha with friends!

Ellie started her gymnastics class at a new place and loves it!

And the boys began their fall soccer season playing on different teams this time.  Ryan started coaching Evan's team while Avery joined boys from his school.

My baby girl turned 4 years old...unbelievable!

There were lots of pumpkin patches like always!

And we cheered on the Royals in the World Series...they didn't win, but we still had fun watching the games!

Then it was already Halloween.

This month flew by without a lot of blogging...

And a Thanksgiving lunch at school!

We round out the year with a boy turning 6!

And we ended it with a great Christmas season!

Wow what a great 2014!  Love my family!