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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Breaking Bear Country News

I tweeted about discovering our picture on the cover of our local newspaper yesterday. Here's the proof. Sorry for the extreme soft focus. I'm too busy to put it in photoshop and blur out names and locations properly.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! I've enjoyed meeting several new people thanks to Brittany's Random Photo Challenge while I sit at the office renting cross country skis to the hearty souls who WANT to be OUTSIDE in 10 degree temps.

The sun is shining though and my heart feels light. I'm checking things off my to-do list one by one and am looking forward to the chicken simmering in my crock pot. This is going to be a week of digging deep into my freezer for meal ideas as it will be at least a week before I do a big shopping trip. I'm up for the challenge and will be sure to share any new recipes that turn out.



Could they have made it any bigger? Geepers!

Random Picture Challenge #2


Enjoy a trip down memory lane with Brittany's Random Picture Challenge....

This week's selection: 11th folder (or September 2007 folder) 11th picture

No 2007 pictures on this computer so I picked the 11th picture from my 11th folder. This is my April 1st, 2008 folder labeled "Julia's 18 month birthday"

This half birthday was celebrated in style at the Mall of America's indoor amusement park. Did you know for $80 you can go on all the rides you want for an entire YEAR? When I worked 10 minutes from the mall this was was a GREAT deal. Sam was a year old so I got to ride with him.

Two years later, it isn't as convenient to go to the (Big Dumb) Mall as we like to call it, but friends of ours have connections and got us free ride tickets. It made for a special way to celebrate Julia's half birthday.



This is Sam's first time on the Frog Hopper. The birthday girl was too young to ride. Maybe this year....

Friday, February 27, 2009

One small step for Sam, one giant leap for our family

We've been working with Sam for years on getting him to eat his veggies. He ate them just fine as a baby, but refused as a toddler. I was not good at offering a veggie at every meal because I was lazy, didn't feel like preparing something that he wasn't going to eat, it was difficult to keep fresh fruits in veggies in the house on a super tight budget. I could go on and on, but the point is that once I decided that this was a priority for our family, we've seen slow and steady progress.

It became a rule that he had to eat a veggie at dinner. Then we started including lunch. I ignored the experts who said that it's not good to elevate sweet foods to a higher level and use them as bribes. In our house they are privileges - one you don't earn unless you've eaten your veggie.

We had some pretty big battles about this, but sticking by our guns has paid off. He knows he has to eat a veggie and often tells us which one he wants. We've come a long way from the nights he would sit at the table for up to two hours with five small pieces of chicken and one veggie. I got sick of him not eating dinner and then waking up starving and then filling up on carb loaded breakfasts. We put an end to that and, again, went against the experts and require him to finish all of his dinner before he gets a treat. Before you leave me comments saying that he'll develop food issues as an adult if I make him finish all his food, let me say that he doesn't have to eat THAT much. The kid's dinners are often served in 1 cup Pampered Chef prep bowls. His is never more than half full. I don't think requiring a 4 year old to eat half a cup of food at a meal is too much.

In the last month meal time has become a joyful time for our family.

I still can't believe I can write that. It has been a long road. One we walked one step at a time.
We are laughing and talking instead of listening to Sam whine for hours. He prefers lettuce or green peppers but will eat tomato, carrots, celery, potatoes.

This is where we were a couple weeks ago.

Now I can plop two full slices of pepper on his plate and he eats them right up. Make that TWO steps for our Sammy Sam!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't Spill the Beans

What would possess me to drive into the Cities when a snowstorm is upon us? In the time I've been sitting at McDonald's, plugged into the outlet originally intended for the ATM machine (it was already unplugged when I got here) almost 3 inches have fallen and it shows NO sign of stopping. The weather people say we're going to get 5-8 inches. That kind of snow is only fun before Christmas and my birthday. After January 25th, I'm ready for Spring. This is not realistic though as March is often our snowiest month.

My drive here took 35 minutes. My drive home? I'll be lucky if I make it in under 2 hours. I knew things were going to be bad when I overheard the receptionist at the dermatologist talking about schools closing early. *sigh*

So here I sit, twittering away while I wait for my 2pm focus group. What's a focus group you ask? There are market research companies all over the country that bring people in to test their products or services before the final design makes it to the everyday consumer. I added my name to a data base 5 years ago and every few months I get a call asking if I'd be interested in participating in a focus group on one thing or another. Radio, Alcohol, Mortgages...are just some of the topics I've been called about. I've never once been able to participate either due to disqualification (can't exactly taste wine when I'm pregnant) or because of scheduling.

On February 13th I got a call from the company and FINALLY I QUALIFIED for a study! These things pay WELL so the timing is wonderful. I picked up four samples on the 14th and have been using them ever since. I signed a confidentiality agreement saying I won't talk about the product outside of the focus group. I'm not even sure I'm even suppose to mention that the study is on dishcloths. Shhh...you won't tell right?

Not exactly a glamorous job (or a steady one for that matter!). Here are a few more jobs I've discovered in my quest to find PapaBear a new job:

Wanted: Personal Driver (the guy has a DUI and wants to hire someone to drive him places AND live with him and his kid. Um...No thanks!),
Then there's the Wanted: Writer - for a book about being transgender...
The one that makes me shake my head is the family seeking additional childcare help for the hours of 6-10pm. They have a live in nanny but need help in the evenings with their 3 kids. Job includes playing with them, bathing them, feeding them, and putting them to bed. They disclose the fact that the parents will both be home at night.
What??!?!?!?
I think the ad should have said they were hiring a parent.

PapaBear has been able to find a few jobs within his skill set and close enough to home and has quickly fired off applications to those companies.

Speaking of beans....

I found another market research company to sign up with using Craigslist and before the day was up, I got a call about a taste test taking place next week.

As I got closer and closer to meeting all the qualifications for the study, we reached the point in the phone conversation where I had to tell them whether i would be likely to purchase something other than baked beans when choosing a side for grilled items. I was honest and said, no, I only eat baked beans and kidney beans (in chili)

Door closes....I was disqualified.

Oh! Wait! Can we back up? I could try beans....er... YES! I WOULD DEFINITELY try pinto beans!

The lady actually let me change my answer! So let the record show that for $100 I'll eat pinto beans.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Alphabitty Moments - the letter A

Welcome to the first installment of Alphabitty Moments!



In one easy post you can preserve a precious memory in a fun & creative way. Create a scrapbook layout like mine or simply post your picture that corresponds with the letter of the week.



I chose Altitude for the letter A because during our first family vacation we drove through Rocky Mountain National Park.

Now it's your turn to pick a word that starts with 'A' and a photograph to go with it! Be sure to come back and leave the link to your post in the Mr. Linky so everyone can see all the different A words that are used.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Move over Mozart







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Alphabitty Moments

"It's the Little Things" was Originally posted in December of 2008:

Everyone says that childhood flies by. In an attempt to freeze time or at least capture a slice of time, I spent a few days in January 2008 photographing the things associated with my kids' lives at this stage that won't always be that way. Before I know it, it will be a real bus that takes them to school, not just Sam's toy bus that he's been obsessed with lately....
For the complete post, click here.

I'm always looking for creative ways to blog about the 'little things' and the photographer in me is always looking for something to do with the 1000 pictures I take each month.

Put the two together and what do you get? A new blog carnival called Alphabitty Moments!



Here's how it works:
The carnival starts, Thursday, February 26th with the letter 'A' . Then for the next 25 weeks we'll all work our way through the alphabet, photographing "a little thing" that begins with the letter of the week. Feel free to work ahead if you want. I know I like to be able to write when I can and then use the schedule post option to spread out the frequency of my entries.

Simply post your photo of the week and then stop back here to add your name to the Mr. Linky. I'm really looking forward to seeing the variety of things people can come up with for each letter!

Using bookmaking software like, Blurb.com's Booksmart is optional. (I create screen shots of my computer screen so I can display my photo like this. Click here for more sample pages)


But you can keep it as simple as posting a picture and the letter of the week. Writing the significance of the photo is optional. My Alphabitty Moment: My kids were so proud of their gingerbread house and are always pointing out which parts they worked on. They will love seeing their masterpiece in a book one day.

The suggestions that have come in so far have been fabulous. From Esther's idea to make an inexpensive book by printing out the words/pictures and stick them in an album to Jenney's idea for the carnival name...

The other idea I have is to print the pictures to make personalized flashcards.
If you have more than one child, you can post pictures for each of them. I plan to start back over at the beginning of the alphabet after we get to Z so you have the option to do a second series then or post mulitple pictures each week. Won't it be fun to see how each child's alphabet changes from cycle to cycle?

Hope to see you on Thursday for the first installment of Alphabitty Moments!

Why?

Why did I offer to get skis out for our whole family so the photographer from the local paper who showed up on our doorstep at dinner time last night could have a picture of people skiing for his assignment?

Why did I think SisterBear could hold the bag of doughnuts on the way to school without eating one?

Why was I worried about how awkward it would be to be at school today after CaseyCarlson's flop on American Idol the other night? Her mom (SisterBear's teacher) is a great lady and handled the discussion on how the AI experience was for her daughter like a pro.

Why didn't I go to my usual homeopathic remedies to treat SisterBear's cough/cold and instead take her to the doctor and agree to antibiotics and nebulizer treatments?

Why did I accept the Target check out lady's offer to cheat and go in the express lane with my cart full of groceries?

Why didn't I anticipate the guilty feeling I would get in my stomach when someone came into line a minute later and saw all my stuff laid out on the belt?

Why did I answer the phone this afternoon when I didn't recognize the number?

Why didn't I start making my own chicken stock years ago? From one, $6 chicken, we ate two dinners and froze 9 cups of broth.

Why didn't I think of the title Alphabitty Moments for my new blog carnival? Thanks to Jenney for the awesome suggestion!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why didn't I think of this before?

I have found a way to combine some of the things I enjoy the most:

Taking photographs of my kids and capturing the "little things"
Bookmaking
Making 'hand'made gifts
Coming up with creative ways to teach my kids their letters


I plan to work on one letter a week to keep it fun, fresh, and manageable.



Wouldn't it be fun to see what others come up with for their family's alphabet?



You don't have to use Blurb's software
to participate. Simply post a Aa is for _______ and the photo.
There are many companies that create books and sometime down the line you can plug the letters and pictures in.

Any suggestions for a name for the project?
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not Me Monday - 23rd Edition

Happy Not Me Monday! (or Sunday) depending on when I hit publish. I have two extra kids to watch on Monday mornings so I'm not on the computer until the afternoon. Any blogging on Monday has to be done during nap time or after bedtime. That used to be the norm for every day around here until PapaBear lost his job three weeks ago. Now my photography and blog book design work have become our life line and I spend most of my waking hours on the computer.

It's nice to take a break from juggling so many responsibilities to talk about the things I did (not) do this past week. For more Not Me Monday posts head over to MckMama's blog, My Charming Kids.

I have (not) been concerned about whether I'm losing readers because of my posts and tweets are highly concentrated with links to my blog to book business. Nope not me! I (don't) pray that people will be understanding as I use some of my 'air time' to get the word out that I have submitted a Geek Lab proposal for BlogHer '09.

I am (not) a mess most days as I try to squeeze out every last second of time. I (don't) have it all figured out!
I (don't) spend 10+ hours working on blog books, 2+ hours working on photography things, 2 hours job searching (I'm the computer person in the family) for PapaBear, and an hour working on our park caretaking duties - and those are just the things that provide or have the potential to provide income...

Somehow I have (not) figured out how to prioritize spending individual time with each of my children, cooking meals, grocery shopping, taking the kids to three different schools, hanging with my hubby after the kids go to bed, doing my devotional*, exercising, and sleeping in the remaining 9 or so hours left in my day. Yep. I'm good like that. I (don't) feel guilty for leaving PapaBear to watch the kids for hours and hours so I can work.

I have (not) neglected to post a picture of my new hair color, the pictures from Henry's photo shoot, or make good on my tweet about posting a FUN new idea that rolls all of my favorite things into one. Not me! I'm obviously on top of everything all the time.

That's (not) why the floor hasn't been visible in my bedroom for almost a month since I haven't put away a piece of clothing since before my January birthday.

That is (not) why I'm only leaving you with a teaser about my new (still nameless) post I'm going to be doing weekly.
Stay tuned!


* It was (not) 2 months ago that I realized that the devotional that I've been doing almost daily since the beginning of December is geared towards 6-10 year olds. I (do not) still continue to enjoy the small snippets of quiet time I get regardless.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blog to Book promotion

Two years ago I started reading a blog written by MckMama's friend, Jennisa. It was the first blog I read that wasn't written by an IRL friend. It took me a few months to leave my first comment on her blog, but the rest is history. It's been a pleasure to 'watch' her daughters grow and to see her blog design business take off. She's beyond talented! Click on the button below to see for yourself!




If you have a blog designed by Jennisa, or are on her waiting list, I am offering a 10% discount on blog books. Order additional copies of the same book and they become 60% off! And if that isn't a sweet enough deal for you, head over to BlogHer.com and help me get a spot in the Geek Lab* at BlogHer '09. If my proposal is accepted I will offer a buy one get one free (additional copy of the same book) to the next five people who hire me to create their books.

* Click on "how to turn your blog into a book" and on the next page click on "I would attend this session" under the session title.


Thanks in advance!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friend of the Broom

This post has absolutely nothing to do with cleaning. Actually, I've had nothing to do with cleaning for weeks. That changes tomorrow though. I can't tell the difference between clean and dirty clothes in my room anymore. Not a good sign....

Back to the topic...

I made my own wedding programs for our wedding almost 8 years ago and it's become a running joke ever since that Troy, PapaBear's best man, is not a friend of the groom, but the friend of the broom. Aagh! Ya gotta love funny typos!

Anyway...Troy, his wife, Carrie, and their 9 week old daughter, Lily, are in town from California and we spent yesterday afternoon enjoying their company, and playing Troy's nephew's Wii.


It was Sam's first experience with video games.

He L.O.V.E.D it! I think PapaBear did too. :)

While the boys did their thing, Carrie and I had a chance to catch up. The last time we had a big chunk of time to talk was when we visited them when I was pregnant with Julia. Their visits back to Minnesota are always jam packed so we really enjoyed hanging out with them all afternoon. They may be first time parents, but they are naturals.



My kids adore both Carrie and Troy. Sam was rooting for Troy instead of Daddy, and Julia wanted Troy to pick her up over and over again. She never asks to be picked up by a guy other than Daddy or Grandpa.

Troy's parents have lots of natural light streaming into their house during the day. Then little Miss Lily kicked her legs out at the perfect time and the perfect distance from my camera. I love it when that happens!


It was so nice to meet you love bug!

Q & A

Hilary asked her son, Isaac, a series of questions at the beginning of 2008. At the time I tried asking Sam the same questions, but at 3, he was just too young. Now that he's pushing 4 1/2 I was able to get him to answer me over the course of a few hours. I'll probably revisit them again in a year and see what he says. Feel free to leave a link in the comments if you try this with your kids!




What are you good at doing? I don't know....eating?

If you had ten dollars, how would you spend it? a cake!

What are you afraid of? I don't know...nothing I said. just afraid of monsters.

Who are your friends? Katie, Kaia, Payton, Bea,

Who are your other friends? I don't know their names.

What is important to you? I don't know...I like ya.


What is your favorite book? My killer whale book

What is your favorite food? uh...cake

What is your favorite thing about school? snack

What is your favorite thing to do? play with daddy so muchy

How do you show your family you love them? ________

What do you want to be when you grow up? A gun helicopter man

Why? because they take bad guys away

What are you thankful for? Cricket on the Hearth movie that I'm watching.
YOU!


If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
To a party where there is cake

What makes you sad? Julia taking my toys away.

What makes you angry? Julia makes me angry when she hurts me.

What makes you happy? You, playing with me.

Tell me something about God. I like Jesus.

What does God do for you? Make me better when I say naughty words.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Knock their socks off

PapaBear and I are meeting with our boss in the morning to go over some of our programming ideas for the parks. Other than needing to do the dishes and vacuum, the house is in decent shape and our list of ideas is printed out and ready to go. BUT...I can't help but wonder if there is something else we could suggest...something that will push the park board over the edge and make them jump at the chance to get two programmers for $600 a month. (The park staff approved our proposal, but it needs final approval from the board.)

And so I turn to you, my dear readers....Have you participated in a city, county, state, regional, or national park program that you really enjoyed? I would love to hear about it!
We have a small budget for programs, but at least there's some money to spread around throughout the year....

We have at our disposal: 3 different lakes, 3 beaches, 1 sledding hill, 2 parks with ski trails, an off leash dog park, sand volleyball, horseshoes, baseball field, disc golf, hiking trails, bog walk, multiple fishing piers, campfire program space, 8 picnic shelters, mulitple playgrounds....

We're slowly but surely warming up to the idea of strictly recreational programs. Our background is in environmental education, but in a very historic area with diverse ecosystems.

One idea that I'm excited to share tomorrow is a Photo Scavenger Hunt. I hope to present it next Fall and subtitle it "Leave Only FootPrints. Take Only Photographs"
Get it? Fall....Leave....

At the beginning I will hand out puzzle pieces to the participants. (I'll create a puzzle of a very recognizable spot in the park using one of my photographs and Walgreens.com)

When the group gets the puzzle together I'll ask them if it would look even better with the piece that (without their knowledge) I held on to. "But this one is sooo pretty. I was going to take it home as a souvenir. This one piece doesn't make a difference. Look at all the ones you already have. Aren't they enough?"

Ya gotta love those teachable moments, especially when there is visible proof of what happens if I tell everyone to go ahead a take a piece for themselves....
There's nothing left for the next visitor to enjoy which leads right into the beauty of the scavenger hunt. Groups will be taking pictures of the items on the list. They'll be connecting with nature as they take a closer look at the environment around them, and hopefully they'll learn one of most important Leave No Trace prinicples.
I haven't put much thought into prizes yet, but the gist of the program is there.

You can be sure that if any of your suggestions make it into our programming schedule, you'll be the first to know!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Someone's happy to be outside





Even the dog was cooperative when it came to portraits this week!

For the love of Sam

We're in a good season of life with Sam right now and I want to remember the joy, the wonder, and the love we are experiencing with our first born these days.

He is interested in all sort of animals, but dinosaurs, sharks and whales are his favorite. The excitement is very contagious (except when he's asked to play killer whale or mommy and baby Kentrasauras a hundred times in one day).


His deep blue eyes don't miss a thing. He prefers adult non-fiction books about animals to children's fiction and marks his favorite pages with scraps of paper.
The movie, Cars, was on when Julia and I came home from the library this morning but it was obvious he wasn't even watching it anymore. His nose was in a shark book.


When I suggested he turn the TV off he said (NO LIE!!!), "Oh! Good idea! Then we can read my shark book!"

He smiles all the time (except when his sister makes him cry). He loves to be chased, tickled, and snuggled with. Could his love language be touch?
He and I have started having great talks before bedtime. We curl up in his chair and talk about the day - nice things he did for his sister, how God made some pretty incredible animals, the ways he helped me throughout the day, the plans we've made for the next day, how to handle frustration with his sister, how it feels to solve problems on his own...


He's like a sponge (a pretty adorable one at that!) and while it's great that he's absorbing so much knowledge, I feel like I'm floundering a bit when it comes to building character and teaching self control. Does anyone have any book suggestions on the topic of teaching Christian values to preschoolers? Or words of wisdom to share? (I've already read Dobson's "Bringing Up Boys" and I'm two chapters into "A Mom after God's Own Heart").

I want to make sure my kids are equipped with the right tools to grow in their faith and be a light in this big ol' scary world. Time for MamaBear to soak up some knowledge of her own!

For the love of Sam

We're in a good season of life with Sam right now and I want to remember the joy, the wonder, and the love we are experiencing with our first born these days.

He is interested in all sort of animals, but dinosaurs, sharks and whales are his favorite. The excitement is very contagious (except when he's asked to play killer whale or mommy and baby Kentrasauras a hundred times in one day).


His deep blue eyes don't miss a thing. He prefers adult non-fiction books about animals to children's fiction and marks his favorite pages with scraps of paper.
The movie, Cars, was on when Julia and I came home from the library this morning but it was obvious he wasn't even watching it anymore. His nose was in a shark book.


When I suggested he turn the TV off he said (NO LIE!!!), "Oh! Good idea! Then we can read my shark book!"

He smiles all the time (except when his sister makes him cry). He loves to be chased, tickled, and snuggled with. Could his love language be touch?
He and I have started having great talks before bedtime. We curl up in his chair and talk about the day - nice things he did for his sister, how God made some pretty incredible animals, the ways he helped me throughout the day, the plans we've made for the next day, how to handle frustration with his sister, how it feels to solve problems on his own...


He's like a sponge (a pretty adorable one at that!) and while it's great that he's absorbing so much knowledge, I feel like I'm floundering a bit when it comes to building character and teaching self control. Does anyone have any book suggestions on the topic of teaching Christian values to preschoolers? Or words of wisdom to share? (I've already read Dobson's "Bringing Up Boys" and I'm two chapters into "A Mom after God's Own Heart").

I want to make sure my kids are equipped with the right tools to grow in their faith and be a light in this big ol' scary world. Time for MamaBear to soak up some knowledge of her own!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not Me Monday - 22nd Edition

This weeks edition of Not Me Monday is being served up with a cherry on top. But first the housekeeping portion of the post:

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


But before you head off to read other NotMe posts, BrotherBear and SisterBear want to share their ice cream sundaes with you.


Isn't that sweet of them? It wasn't at all strange to be eating ice cream sundaes as a family this week. Not one bit! I haven't been eating ice cream almost nightly since my birthday 3 weeks ago. I don't wait until the kids are asleep so I can enjoy my favorite food in peace. Not Me!

Speaking of sweet...

There were Valentine's cards/treats to be distributed this week and I for one, was all prepared. I took pictures of the kids with enough time to create cards so they would be ready to hand out to Julia's teachers and for Sam's class party.

When I was caught without treats for the kids at Julia's school, I decided I would not be that mom two days later at Sam's school. I'm 32 years old. I don't crumble under peer pressure. Not me!

See these cute "Owl Love You Forever" bags? All the kids in Sam's class got those. I did not run out half way through his list of names. Nope. I pay close attention to that sort of thing when I'm out guilt shopping so I don't have to put random stickers on ZipLock bags for half the class. It's the chocolate inside that counts right?

We did not take advantage of the extra treats in the house and use them as a little bribe to encourage Julia to go to sleep the first night she went to bed without her pacifiers. Not us! I posted about it being time to ditch the paci, but afterwards realized my heart wasn't in it. By bedtime, though, I was back on board and decided to give it a try since she didn't nap and should have been really tired. I dug around the playroom for stuffed animals she hadn't slept with in a while and made a big deal about her taking care of them. I did not lie to my daughter about her 'missing' paci's. Nope. I told her the truth that I had tucked them in the book basket where she wouldn't find them. I never would tell her they were lost and then distract her by having her look under her bed for them. Put some of the blame on her for not being able to find them? Never! I've been through this before with Sam and totally knew what I was doing. Fly by the seat of my pants? Not a chance!

For the record: She's taking a little longer to fall asleep, but only cried a little bit the first night. She tucks her Pooh, Pound Puppy, and Hippo under the covers and reads 5-6 books before going to sleep. Of course my video monitor chose this week to konk out so I can't SEE what she's doing in her bed, I can only hear her on the sound monitor.

I'll leave you with one more dose of sweetness...My daughter picking her nose posing like an angel in her Valentine's Dress - a dress that is not a 5 T sundress that fits her almost perfectly.

Now be a sweatheart and let me know you stopped by so I can return the favor....

A good (hair) day

After being gone for 12 hours yesterday it was nice to have a full day at home.
I even took a nap - a rare occurrence!
We ate lunch in the playroom first, on a picnic blanket. It's one of the warmest rooms in the house and sunlight streams in much of the day. It also happens to be where I do most of my mini photo shoots (read: Daddy holds a backdrop and my kids climb all over the material while I snap away). Julia's hair was looking extra cute today don't you think?


This particular backdrop isn't very big, but I'm too lazy to Photoshop anything right now.



Besides, when you see this next one, you'll see that a little carpet showing on the side is the least of my worries.








Not again!


Almost 2 years ago I put this bow in her hair for the first time.

She just keeps getting cuter and cuter!

Even when her mini photo shoot gets a little too long.


After naps we cheered for Matt Kenseth who ended up winning an action packed Daytona 500. Then PapaBear made popcorn for our ritual of watching Charlie Brown on the weekend. The library has a video called "This is America Charlie Brown" that we love. The kids learn history lessons in a fun and entertaining way. Their favorite episodes are the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk and The NASA Space Station.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm off helping MckMama with a wedding today, but I promised to post the final pictures from the mini Valentine's shoot I did with the kids the other day.

Julia took a couple of her cards to school to give to her teachers this past Tuesday and much to my embarrassment, many of her classmates had brought cards/treats to share with all the kids. Oops!



I wasn't going to let Sam show up at school with just his cards for his party on Thursday. I picked up candy and bags at Target and over the next few days we assembled them. I stayed at school to help the kids distribute their cards and to spend some extra time with Sam during play time (Things are tough with PapaBear out of work, but we aren't going to waste a moment of the extra time we get with the kids because of it). As it turns out, Sam was the only one who gave chocolates. We've never had so many suckers and SweetTarts in the house at one time! One little girl gave HUGE, twisty suckers with a stuffed animal wrapped around the stick - to 18 kids!



In the end, I was content with what we did, Sam learned about giving to others and not keeping the candy for himself. He got lots of practice writing his name too. To take the attention off of myself for succumbing to peer pressure, take a look at these cute dinosaur Valentine's that Hilary and Isaac made for his classmates.


Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

1 John 4:7-10
Dear Friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God - for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Have a good morning!

It's back to school season and whether your kids start before or after Labor Day new routines are on every mom's mind these days. T...