Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Birthday Girl

I can still call myself girl, right? On the 15th, I celebrated my 33rd birthday. To be honest, I never really like celebrating my birthday. It's not the aging aspect that bothers me. Its a bit hard to put into words, actually, but I think it has to do more with several past birthdays being nothing more than disappointing to say the least. So year after year, my expectations are low and I would really just like to get through the day. Oh, but with children, that just isn't possible! As the boys are getting older and really, really loving celebrating, it was almost as exciting for them as their own birthdays! There was some whispering throughout the week and a little bit of sneaky crafting going on. How these sweet boys make me smile!

So I woke up to lots of hugs and kisses and "happy birthdays". Gifts and cards were given to me before I even left the bed!
suncatcher made by Jakey bug

from Blake

from Parker

from MaKenna (with help from Daddy)

and a beautiful bead necklace made by my Jakey. It is just lovely, don't you think? (I had to include this picture with Kenna and her marker face...something that happens almost daily now).
I must say this birthday was great. My family made me feel loved and appreciated. They were indeed very happy that I was born and I am so blessed to have them in my life! As I tucked in the boys and gave them their goodnight kisses, Parker said to me "I hope you had a good birthday! And I hope tomorrow is a good birthday too" Love that cutie!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Friends and the woods

After a break for the holidays, we were finally able to meet up with some of our co-op buddies at the nature preserve. It was a pretty chilly day, so we took advantage of the nature center to help thaw us out a bit. They have a really nice natural play area just outside the nature center that the kids love to play at.

This winter has been the coldest winter since our move from Florida. I must admit, I am quite ready for spring now. It seems that no matter how many layers, warm drinks and blankets I use, I just can't get warm! The kids even seem to be a bit less tolerant of the weather this year, wanting to spend more time indoors than out (which is very abnormal for them!). So lets hope for an early (and warm!) spring.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cub Scout Court of Honor

Both Blake and Jacob have joined Cub Scouts this past fall (late October). They have been having so much fun and look forward to the meetings every week. In fact, Jacob wore his uniform for almost a week straight when he first got it! Two weeks ago, they received awards at the Court of Honor. Both boys earned their Bobcat badge. Jacob also earned two beads, orange and white. The beads are displayed on his Tiger Cub recognition patch and show how far he is on the Tiger Trail (all of the achievements he has earned that count toward his Tiger Cub badge). Blake also received a bead (which works the same as for Tiger Cubs, but only Bears earn less). Blake has almost fulfilled all of the requirements needed to receive his Bear Cub patch...not bad for only being apart of cub scouts for 3 months!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Winter Days

With all the celebrating that encompassed the month of December, we also managed to sneek in some lovely slower paced days. Not all of them managed to get documented by photos, but here are a few to share.

One of my favorite scents of the holiday season- cloves and clementines
Blake designed a happy face pomander

Jakey's was a crazy dude with a mohawk...so very fitting to those of you who know Jacob

The first snow of the season began Christmas evening and continued through most of the following morning. We were left with a beautiful winter wonderland (a rare treat for those of us in the "south")

My kids are obsessed with eating snow. I am not sure if it is a kid thing or just because of the stories mama and daddy told them from their childhood days.

And this was MaKenna's introduction to snow. All decked out in snow gear, my summer baby HATED it! She didn't move from this spot and soon cried to go back inside.

A snowball fight soon ensued between Daddy and Blake

This was the first year we made a gingerbread house. I ended up purchasing a kit from Trader Joe's because I couldn't bear the thought of making one from scratch and then everyone hating it! Well, my intuition was right. While they enjoyed the construction, unfortunately the house found its way to the trash the next morning.

The gingerbread house did provide an opportunity for a quick reinactment of Hansel and Gretel though! That's the witch by the door.

I couldn't resist this picture of MaKenna warming herself by the fire! She is in full blown imitation stage right now which is equally cute (as illustrated above) and frustrating (when she yells "no, no, no" at a request for something she does not want to do). She definitely keeps us all entertained!
We just finished up our first week of school since taking our holiday break. Both the kids and I were craving our daily school rhythm and most of the week went relatively smooth. We even managed to meet up with friends for a nice (but cold!) afternoon in the woods! They are now forcasting more snow for us on Monday (!!!!) so a snow day may be needed :-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas and Handmade Gifts

This was the first Christmas in a couple of years where it was just our family celebrating. I think after the month's whirlwind of activities, it was just what we needed! And it was so lovely. Just the kind of Christmas you dream of.

The tree all lit up prior to Santa's arrival.
MaKenna checking out her new barn

And the aftermath of gift opening

Name plaques made by Daddy for our football loving boys (aren't the wood burned helmets awesome!)

mama knitted kitty for MaKenna and gnome for Blake-he was the last to get a gnome and now all the boys want "friends" for their gnomes :-) Thankfully, these don't take long to finish.

mama knitted scarves for the boys (top-bottom:Parker, Blake, and Jacob). They all picked out their own colors.

Poppa made barn/stable inspired by Nova Natural's

Poppa did an amazing job! It is so beautiful and made with such love! The kids have played with it everyday since.
Not pictured is a kitchen that Peter is still in the process of making. Hopefully, it will be completed this weekend (ahem) and then I will post pictures of that as well. Peter and I have slowly been incorporating more handmade gifts into the holidays. The boys seem to appreciate those presents more and it is a source of pride for them to say "mama or daddy made it". Of course, this also has meant their wish lists have gotten longer, but that is okay. I already have lots of plans for Blake's birthday and will be pushing myself creatively a bit...I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Five Times around the Sun

My Christmas Eve baby turned 5 this year! It doesn't seem possible that five years have gone by already. I still see this baby when I close my eyes or when I see him sleeping!
all 9 lbs 14 oz!
blowing out his birthday candles

so happy!

My parents came to help celebrate and they treated us to a game of bowling. We had such a great time!
MaKenna of course wanted to wear the shoes ;-)

Look at Jakey's form! He looks like a pro.

the birthday boy

afterwards, we headed back home to open gifts

His mama made doll which he named Kennedy. He also received lots of arts and crafts supplies and books from grandma and poppa.
You have grown into such a wonderful, kind, caring little boy and I am so happy that I get to be your mom. We love you so much!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Family Visits

From Thanksgiving on, it has been a whirlwind of celebrating and we are just now settling back into our rhythm and taking in the peace that follows what can only be described as a wonderfully busy holiday season! We were fortunate to have my parents AND our sister in law, Kristen, come and spend Thanksgiving with us. The boys always have an agenda for Grandma which usually involves games of all kinds. It was a nice relaxing day and great to spend it with family.

Grandma casting a her sleeping spell on MaKenna
The day started with a fun game of Quirkle

MaKenna looks so big in this picture!

Aunt Kristen with all the kids. They really enjoyed having her stay a few days with us. In fact, they told her she had to stay 50 days, ha ha.
Only a few short days after the Thanksgiving holiday, Granny and Gramps came to celebrate Hanukkah! Lots of games were played, crafts were done, some swimming, some bowling, some story reading...a visit that left the kids feeling loved, happy and tired!

I think Gramps is about to pick Old Maid!

lighting the menorah on the first night

thank you kisses to Granny

sharing stories

Granny showing Parker her camera
It was a wonderful visit and lots of happy memories were created!