Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Look What I Found in the Garage!




There's nothing cuter than a ballerina with two twigs drumming out "Holy, Holy, Holy" in your garage on this first warm day of the year.

Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, 
even as we hope in you.
Psalm 33:20-22

Monday, March 21, 2011


She has a hard time holding up her fingers the right way, so she'll show you the okay symbol and exclaim she's 'free'.
Her party was a fairy-jump-dance-blast. When the music stopped they had to find a polka dot to stand on-- she'd pick hers up and move it to stand right next to her friends. They danced (read: jumped) for almost an hour BEFORE the sugar. We did cake and ice cream last so that everyone's blood sugar crash happened on their own turf.
Flower PB&J's are way tastier than triangle ones I'm learning in party-aftermath.
Haven found this little family a couple weeks ago and had the worst day when I told her we had to leave them at the store. This was a first for us, and I left feeling like the worst mama. Our good friends who listen and love just about as best as they come rescued the little family and delivered them to their rightful three-year-old mama. So great.
Our camera failed to accompany us, but we had the BEST time at the Please Touch! museum in PA. Tiny grocery stores, puppet shows, carousels, child-driven buses and rubber duck rivers were the order of the day. Jon took the day off to spend with his best girls and we ate it up.
Birthday morning she awoke to candles, favorite donuts, and another round of the song she loves to hear with her name smack in the middle.
Tents and princess crowns, magnadoodles and tiny figurines are doted upon all day. Lunch is had at the slightly scary Rainforest Cafe (really, a snake right at the entrance?)
Three just may be my favorite. I say that with every stage, but I mean it this time. Potty trained, filled with 'why?', wants to fly, lives in a princess dress, thinks I'm 'boo-ti-ful' and applies chapstick at every turn is wonderful. And I don't take it for granted. Thank you, Lord.
About to crash at the end of a great day of celebrating God's good gift.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Party House and Conjugating Verbs

Haven's bestest buddy turned three last month and had a 'potty house'-- which, translated, means there were streamers and balloons at his party. For the whole month, Haven has been talking about said party house and asking for a one too.

"Where Hay-ben's party house be mama?"
(*See, a couple weeks ago Haven began trying out new verbs. Horribly and oh so cute. 'To be' seems to be the major culprit of misuse.)
One night after a certain birthday-girl's bedtime and about a week before her party, I whipped out the twine and paper circles and went to town garlanding anything that didn't move. Birthdays draw into birth weeks at our home and decorations go up and stay up. Why not, right? The Christmas Hippo is still next door, so what could be wrong with a few early polka dots?
I'm in a little bit of a polka-dot-love-phase and Haven awoke to a party house of her very own. A little bit of wrapping paper taped into frames and a couple coloring pages completed our decor.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fairy Water and Abby Wands

You can't have a fairy party without fairy water and Abby Caddaby Wands! (wink) I stumbled upon this idea from this site and simply had to recreate it for Haven's party. It was a little detail that was a lot of fun to create and one the 'fairies' enjoyed as well. One little guy drank the whole thing in 5 minutes flat and was racing in and out of the bathroom for the rest of the party.
I began with the cheapest water bottles I could find, some crystal light in a kid-friendly flavor, wrapping paper, curling ribbon, mailing labels, and bend-y straws.
After ripping off the water's labels, I used one as a template for the size and shape needed from the wrapping paper. I tapped the paper on, but wonder if a glue stick would have worked as well too.
I used labels that were on-hand and printed "Fairy Dust Package *sprinkle generously into bottle to create FAIRY WATER" via Avery's online print site.
From there, I stuck, cut, curled and tied everything together. Voila!

The Abby wands are really just glorified sugar cookies. Really great sugar cookies though-- I'll have to post the recipe soon.
They're way cuter than they are difficult. Just as I pulled the cookies from the oven, I transfered them to cooking racks and inserted bamboo skewers.
After that, a circle of icing was added and then mashed into a plate of pink sprinkles. Edible glitter and pretty pink royal icing would be super great too, but a gals gotta budget. A little more curling ribbon and you're all set (I tied the ribbon around sandwich baggies for some of the wands so that the cookie wands could go home with our guests)!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Oma!!!

We love you Oma-- we even added a few extra verses to your birthday song! Hope you have a great day filled with cake and ice cream and lots of love!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You're invited...


Well, not really. That is, unless you actually received an invitation in official crayola-covered, glue and popsicle fashion. The littliest one is turning three this month and this is by far the most epic event of her tiny life. she has been waiting for and talking about her birthday non. stop. for at least six months! She's a birthday pro-- knowing her birth month, the date, and how to hold up three fingers. I watch her in the rear-view mirror practicing on the way to the store (which probably says a lot about my driving).


Since Abby invites were scarce to be found (read: they weren't at Tar-jay), I decided to make an "Abby-wand-invite" myself. I searched online for Abby coloring pages and shrunk them down before printing and copying. Then, I used a star cookie cutter to outline the images and cut them out. I glued them onto construction paper (yea, nothing fancy here) and then cut the star shape out, using the orignal shape as a guide. The next morning, Miss H helped by coloring the pictures while i wrote out the party details for the other side. She then helped me glue the pop sticks and yarn to each invite. Sorry for the lack of documentation. Glue seems to do crazy things to a toddler.



This year we're going with a polka dot/ Abby Cadabby theme. I kinda just picked Abby after H went on a video binge from the library starring the little fairy without really knowing that it's SUPER hard to find any birthday Abby gear. Oh, and we're not expecting as many toddlers at our house as wands-- most were honorary invites to family that live out-of-state. Not to fret, we've got everything under control and ready to rock and roll. More cuteness to come!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Waiting and White Paint

A couple weeks ago, we received news that 'our spell' in life's waiting room was going to turn into 'a season'. Our family has been hoping for and actively pursuing growth for a year now. This by no means is a record for any family, but has been hard on my heart all the same, especially with two adoptions that fell through in the final stages. More on heart issues and adoption stuff later-- this posts is about projects! So, with failed plans came a need to be busy and this can of paint...


...did just the trick! I splurged and went with the off-the-shelf white from the Home Depot that ALSO contains a primer. Worth.It's. Weight. In. Gold. This stuff is awesome. It goes on easily, covers quickly and has a very mild odor too.

Every time I walked through our family room, my eye was drawn to the growdy-jody trim. Even though you buy the pre-white trim, you still need to paint the pre-white trim. I'm embarassed to tell you how long this has been installed in our home, but let's just say it was (*FOUR YEARS!*) time to paint over the dirt-highlighting-spackle and dull trim.



Painting our trim brightened the entire room! I'm amazed at what a difference a little paint can do.



Next up was a recently rescued coffee table. Thanks, Laura! our friends received a new-to-them really great, old trunk for Christmas and needed to find a new home for their old coffee table. Our family loves free and I loved the idea of a table that was big and sturdy enough to play at. I got a little paint feisty and didn't take an actual 'before' picture.



Ta-da! Two coats later and this guy is looking fantastic! I don't even want to know how many layers a primer-less paint would have taken. Unfortunately, our table is still a work-in-progress. There was only one day in February warm enough to paint (*I'm pretty sure it was a Godsend just for my need-to-redirect-and-find-a-quick-fix-project self. Thanks, Lord!) so our poor table has gotten a few scuffs while awaiting a last coat of paint and a couple coats of polyurethane to finish him off. Soon enough. In the meantime, it's good enough for a wee little princess to dine casually at. Raisins are our afternoon choice this week!


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Rainbow Hair

Here's our latest conquest in all things hair...


Little H requested Tiana hair and so the style began with the bottom row of box twists and green beads with a centered puff on top. She loved it. The problem was it lasted all of 17 minutes before it turned into a puff centered in whispies and frizz. She still loved it of course and so I ventured out to the library hoping I wouldn't get pulled over by the hair police (you only think they don't exist because you have not met them yourself...) between there and home. Luckily, we escaped with only a few 'bless your mama's heart looks'. Thus, the next day needed a hairstyle even better than Tiana.

Nothing's better than Tiana. Nothing except more beads! After a few too many episodes of Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer we were ready to rock and I'm happy to admit Haven hasn't mentioned Tiana hair since. The yellow row starts just above her ears (since the hair on the fringe is too short to make it to the top pigtails) and the box twists are off centered from the green row so that everything would lay nicely. From there, the two pigtails were brushed out and divided into four twists-- super fun for a three year old who loves to hear the clickety-clack of every head tilt and dramatic spin.

It's been two weeks and this style has held up really well. It definitely could use a refresh in the coming days, but has kept up with us pretty well!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Reason No. 7648, Why I Love NJ

The Christmas Hippo is still out and about!
This is who we've seen every. single. morning at our breakfast table since Thanksgiving. I'm thinking she (see the skirt?) is just hoping to get in as many holidays as possible this year.

I will personally ensure she doesn't make any memorial day appearances though. We'll call it a late Mother's Day gift to myself.

(*This gal has made appearances for a couple years now. The first year, I couldn't figure out what she was. Then I spent the next two years trying to come up with WHY she was. Nothing says 'Happy Brithday Jesus' quite like a hippo, ya know? THen Jon informed me of that classic "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". Y'all know it? Yeah, me neither.)

Just after I realized how upset I was getting at our neighbors for leaving Santa and his hippo out in the cold for so long, I noticed I still have up some Christmas prints in my kitchen. Oops. Guess I'm more Jersey than I thought.