Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sam's Party

We had a great birthday party for Samantha's first party. Brad's parents made it down here and joined us for the celebration. I tried to keep the crafts fairly simple. I had made homemade green playdoh that I stored in half pint jars. The kiddos used felt to cover the kids, making it look like a bear's head. They also used lollipops and bear cutouts to make "bear-pops." Probably the most exciting craft, however, was the "bear tags." Each child that attended was encouraged to bring their own stuffed bear from home. We used plastic tags from Staples, attached a keychain ring and a small bear claw charm, thredded cute bear printed ribbon through it and tied around each child's neck. We then wrote each bear's name on the tag. The kids LOVED them!!!

In addition to the crafts the kids made, they also received a tote bag I made from "Blue Jean Teddy Bear" material. They turned out so well! I was quite excited about them! They were bigger than I had planned, but I was overall pleased. The children also received a small teddy bear cookie cutter to be used with the play doh. For the babies that attended, I gave them each a teether, and a small plastic car.

I decided against doing a lot of food for this party, and instead made some seriously cute cupcakes. I decorated them with chocolate icing and then added an unwrapped peppermint patty and three junior mints, making it look like a paw print. They were soooo cute!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Loving to plan

I am a planner by nature. I LOVE to plan things down to the tiniest details, though I do not always follow through with everything. I have two big projects I am working on right now. The first I mentioned in my first blog... K's school. Yesterday four boxes from christianbook.com showed up via UPS. I do not think I can even begin to describe how excited I was!!!! I have begun receiving the stuff I ordered for her school!!!! What a joy to sit down with the kids around me, going through the contents of the boxes. K is ready to dive into the new books now - I think she was bummed to find out she has to wait until she is done what she has already started. For those who d not know, she is using ACE right now. I love the way they incorporate the Bible into everything... as it should be considering without God we are nothing and have nothing, but I fee it is "behind" on so many different levels and does not have the interactions I desire to have with the children. It is almost independently done. Growing up, I was often times ahead of the other students and therefore worked independently the majority of the time... I did not want that with my children! Hopefully the curriculum I have chosen for the rest of this year and next year will crrespond better with what Brad and I desire for our children's education.

My other big project right now is S's first birthday party. I am SOOOOO excited, though flabbergasted at the thought that she is indeed turning one. We have decided to go with a teddy bear theme, though quite honestly she could take or leave hers :) Usually I make the majority of the decorations and what not, but we decided to order our decorations this year. I will be making gift bags/tote bags out of some "blue jean teddy bear" material I have leftover from the bolts I bought to make the nursery sets. The decorations we found at www.birthdaydirect.com matched it beautifully! For favors I am also looking at giving jars of homemade playdo with a bear cookie cutter. Activities are going to include making bear party hats, making bear name tags for the stuffed bears (everyone has been asked to bring their favorite teddy bear), making bear jar lids (for the playdo), and making bear-pops. All we are doing for food this year will be cupcakes. Our invitation list was pretty small this year... it seems like most of my close friends have moved away. We have some in North Dakota, others in Virginia, and others in Japan. Come to think of it, all three of those families are military, lol. There just are not many kids S's age that we hang out with... a few, but not many.

I'm not sure what else I am going to plan this year... I need to finish planning the family vacation, the garden, K's party (W's will be in Maryland), and eventually L'. I know K wants a horse party. Not sure what to expect from L. W is having a firetruck party - should be a lot of fun - Grammy is in charge of that one in Maryland. I'll post more as soon as I get some details planned - and I will of course post pictures eventually too :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Starting something new

Over the last year, I have been introduced to the idea of blogging. Here as of late, I have begun contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of such an endeavor. Perhaps the greatest advantage is to be able to journal/blog and be able to share it with family and friends, thus keeping everyone up to date on what is going on in our family. We'll see how it works.

We are actually planning on quite a few new things for this year to come. We are hoping to do some remodeling on the house this year - including painting the walls, replacing the carpet with hardwood floors, replacing the linoleum with tile, putting a second sink in the master bathroom, putting on gutters (why oh why isn't that something automatically added down here in the south?), and putting in an attic fan.

I'll be starting my garden up in the next couple months... we will be using square foot gardening again this year. I'm planning on six 4'x4' boxes, not to count my herbs I will be doing up on the patio. The plan is for everything to be organic, which is all we really eat anymore. I would really like to do some landscaping as well, but am not very good designing that kind of thing.

This year also holds a lot of sewing projects! My best friend is having her third baby, due in April, and I'm planning to make her some outfits. My kids and hubby have requested pajama pants. K is requesting a few dresses as well. I also need (lol - well want anyways) to make outfits for our family vacation this year.

This year we are headed up to Maryland in May for a wedding. On the way up, we will be staying with some dear friends in Virginia, and spend a day at Busch Gardens and a day at Colonial Williamsburg. Once we get to Maryland, we'll be going to Hershey Park, the DC Zoo, and the Baltimore Aquarium. We are also having a birthday party for W while we are up there. Busy busy busy!!!

Our home school curriculum will be changing drastically in the next couple of months. L will be using ACE kindergarten curriculum as his PreK4 program, starting within the next month. Next year he will be using ACE 1st grade curriculum as his kindergarten material. K is almost finished the first grade curriculum, so we will be using other materials to finish the year off with her. Thanks to some GREAT friends, I was pointed in the right direction and had the opportunity to play and plan :) I went "shopping" at Christian Book Store, Veritas Press, and Timberdoodle. K will be using the following to finish up first grade:
Singapore Math
Rainbow Rock
Stepping Into Science
Shurley English I
Child's History of the World
Drawing with Children
Readers/Reading/Language Arts:
Pathway Readers
On Yonder Mountain
Celebrating Biblical Feasts

Hubby is headed out for another deployment in a few months, which I am sure will add another layer to our routine :) For the most part, though, the family continues to grow closer together. We are learning to use the resources God has blessed us with to provide for our needs, opposed to what the world offers us. We still dream of one day having a mini-farm with chickens, goats, horses, and perhaps a few cows. I'm hoping to learn to crochet and knit this year. Perhaps in the not so far off future, I'll learn to make my own soap as well. Time will tell :)

God bless you and your family as we begin this new year that we have been given to further the Kingdom of Heaven!