Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My big boy is 4!

Has it really been 4 years? Has it ONLY been 4 years? In some ways, it seems like yesterday that I was rolled in for a c-section,   and yet in other ways it seems like these 4 years have lasted a lifetime. One thing I do know though- I have a few more gray hairs than I did 4 years ago!

Here is my sharp, witty, affectionate, cookin’-loving, story-loving, train-loving 4 year old!

IMG_4340  
Here are a few shots of how he got here…

1 day oldIMG_0926

Age 1Garrett's First Birthday 011
Age 2IMG_2147  

Age 3

IMG_3092

Happy Birthday, Buddy! We love you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hearty Oatmeal Pancakes

These healthy pancakes might not appeal to everyone, but I was pleasantly surprised that these are moist and delicious. Also, my #1 criteria was met for new recipes-my kids ATE them!  Well, one of them that is. So I think it’s a keeper . YAY! I love when I find healthier versions of their favorite food.

1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Assorted berries, optional

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients.  In a small bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.  Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

Pour the batter by 1/4 cupful onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray.  Turn pancakes when bubbles form on top.  Cook until the second side is golden brown. Serve with the berries if desired.

*For the busy moms out there, I measured the dry ingredients in a bowl the night before. Then in the morning, all I had to do was add the wet stuff. My boys are hungry in the morning and like to eat right away.It made things go much smoother.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Peanut Painting

We got a fun package in the mail from Grandma and Grandpa which had packing peanuts in it. So we did a little peanut painting! I filled a muffin tin with 6 colors of glitter paint and stuck a peanut in each.

IMG_4245 
I gave the kids a piece of construction paper and let them go to town. Garrett’s approach was to smear and mix the colors while Colin preferred to “dot” the color.

IMG_4246 IMG_4247

When dry, I cut Garrett’s into a Christmas tree shape…just because it was green and almost Christmas!

IMG_4259 
Oh-and I just have to share this picture. Totally unrelated, but I told the kids before dinner they could help me bake cookies tonight. When I finished cleaning up,  I turned around to call for them, and this is what I saw. I’d say they were ready :-)

IMG_4260

Thursday, December 16, 2010

“Puffy” Christmas Scene

In our area we have a program called PAT, or Parents as Teachers. We have a wonderful young lady come to our house 2x/month and do activities with the kids. Today we did a fun craft that I thought I’d share. You can’t tell from this picture, but the white and green is raised and puffy-very cool!

IMG_4258

You’ll Need:

Cardstock or tagboard
Dark blue or black construction paper
White glue
Shaving cream
Tree decorations
paper plate and plastic spoon
green paint

1. Have the child cut out a tree shape by first having them fold their cardstock in half and tracing a tree template that you have prepared. Then have them cut it out, unfold and wa-la…a Christmas tree. (this introduced the concept of tracing and offered cutting practice as well)

IMG_4249

2. Mix equal parts of glue and shaving cream on a paper plate. Mix with a plastic spoon.

IMG_4250 IMG_4248

3. Have them create a snowy scene on the black construction paper. Despite our encouragement, Colin just wanted to do 2 blobs. Okay buddy!

IMG_4251 IMG_4252

4. Set aside. Mix green paint in to tint the glue/cream mixture green.

IMG_4253
5. “paint” tree with green mixture

IMG_4255

6. Stick tree on top of construction paper. It will stick because of the glue.
7. Decorate with “ornaments” or anything you can think of. We had pom poms, jewels, foam cutouts, etc etc.

IMG_4256  IMG_4257

8. Wait to dry completely before you hang. I learned this the hard way :-( My husband came home to green glop on the carpet. When it dries, the glue/cream mixture will rise and be puffy for a very cool effect.

A fun multi-sensory activity that the kids loved. I would highly recommend it!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Frosty is His Name

I promised Grandma and Grandpa that I would post a picture of our first snowman of the season…so here he is. Well, actually his name is Frosty. Isn’t every snowman named Frosty? We’re very into Frosty right now.

Here is the work in progress…

IMG_4205

And here is the finished product. Daddy is very creative-look at that hat!

IMG_4210_edited-1

Then they wanted to make Frosty…so I drew a few circles on construction paper, found a bag of cotton balls and let them have at it. Who knew they’d be gluing for 30 minutes? Whoo hoo! Only I forgot to take a picture of the final product. Oh well…

IMG_4192 IMG_4193

And just because Grandma and Grandpa are probably going to see this, I have to include a picture that I took today. The first recorded Austin smile.

IMG_4237

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Craft Stick Christmas Trees

I would love to wake up 20 years from now and have a bunch of homemade ornaments hanging on my tree from when my kids were little. Here is our first one this year.  They were fun to make and I think they turned out good.

IMG_4227

You’ll need:

1 large craft stick
5 small craft sticks
green paint
brown paint
jewels
yellow wood star
ribbon

1. Have the kids paint all of the craft sticks green and let dry.

IMG_4188 IMG_4189

2. Line up the sticks on the large craft stick and mark with a pencil where you want to cut them to make a Christmas tree shape

IMG_4194
3. Cut with a strong scissors. I used kitchen sheers. Tip-cut fast or there’s a better chance the craft sticks will crack
4. Glue the small craft sticks on the larger one with clear tacky glue.
5. Have the kids glue the jewels on with clear tacky glue. ( I know they make self-adhesive ones but I wasn’t sure my kids would have the dexterity in their fingers to do that, so I opted to go with the regular ones)
6. Glue the star to the top.
7. Paint the bottom of the “trunk” brown.
8. Hot glue a ribbon to the back.
9. Hang and admire!

IMG_4226_edited-1

Peppermint Playdoh

I found this recipe online somewhere and thought I’d share. It makes for some very delicious smelling fun!

IMG_4242

You’ll need:

2 cups flour
2 cups water
1 cup water
4 tsp. cream of tartar
4 tbsp. oil
4 tbsp. peppermint extract
red and/or green food coloring

Mix all of above in a heavy saucepan. Cook on medium heat stirring constantly until mixture starts to pull away from sides of pan. When the right consistency is reached (playdoh like) remove and form into ball. Let cool on wax paper and store in ziplock bag.

Since we just made sugar cut out cookies, my kids had fun with the Christmas cookie cutters and pretended to make cookies.

IMG_4244

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Picture Says it All

I admit, our lives have been pretty chaotic this month. Maybe it’s the new baby, maybe it’s December…but whatever it is, I haven’t been coordinated enough to snap pictures of what we’ve been doing.  So I thought I’d do a post of my favorite snapshots from this month. I hope you like them too!

This is going to come back and haunt him someday ;-)

IMG_4067

“Whoa…who are all of these people staring at me?” 

IMG_4081

My 3 boys-adorable if I do say so myself!

IMG_4119

Baby, it’s cold outside! (coming in from 1st time in the snow)

IMG_4121

Having fun in the snow!

IMG_4131 
Daddy made these hats after Garrett was bummed about his pilgrim hat going in the recycling bin. Oops! But didn’t dad do a great job?

IMG_4097

I hope to do a few posts about some Christmas projects we’ve been doing so stay tuned!

Friday, December 10, 2010

TOS Review: Apologia Good Morning, God

apologialogo

Apologia Educational Ministries sent me their new book, Good Morning, God to review.  In case you don’t know already, I love children’s books so was thrilled to receive this in the mail as  I am trying to add some more Christian books to our collection.

GoodmorningGod
This hardcover book is one of those warm, cozy stories that you love to read as your “littles” are cuddled up around you. I wasn’t sure how my kids would like it, but my soon to be 4 year old requests it at least every other day, if not more. And that is saying a lot since we have SO many books to choose from….

The book shows a young boy going through each day of the week, and on each day, he learns about God.  It’s repetitive which is great for little ones, and it really is quite charming. I also like how the pictures display a Christian family incorporating God into their everyday lives. The watercolors pictures are very beautiful and really seem to keep my kids’ attention.

This book retails for $14.00 and would make a great gift for any preschooler. I am happy to add it to our collection.

Click here to see what others are saying about this book!

Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Austin’s Big Day

Today was Austin’s Baptism Day. Wow, what an awesome thing it is for your child to become a child of God. It is my honor and privilege to be his mother and have the opportunity to bring him up in the Christian faith. We were blessed to have both sets of grandparents there, as well as Grant’s brother and family.  Here he is in his special outfit (the same one his brothers wore) all ready to go.

IMG_4140  IMG_4137

IMG_4132 IMG_4139

The Baptism

IMG_4145 IMG_4147

IMG_4159 IMG_4167

IMG_4169 IMG_4164

IMG_4174  IMG_4179

IMG_4178  IMG_4175

Afterwards, we had a celebration at our home, which Austin pretty much slept through!

IMG_4184 IMG_4185

IMG_4187 IMG_4183

Thank you, Fr. Don, for baptizing Austin! We are so blessed to have you in our family.

IMG_4172

God bless you, Austin!