Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Family Picture 2012

This is it! In all it's glory, as good as it gets when trying to take a photo with all these little people in it.
Bonus: At least everyone is smiling (in random directions)-- I'm sure Kellen is too :)

As soon as we added our third child to our family I knew that most family pictures from here on out would be more like action shots (at least until the kids get older). Unless of course I photoshop some heads around and take a smile or two from another picture, but that's just not realistic most of the time and very time consuming.


Christmas Eve.

 Not too shabby considering there are 5 kids age 6 and under in this one.
Pictured with (my mom) Nana Lu, (my brother) Uncle Justin and (my niece) Vivian.

By the time we left to go home Christmas Eve, there was about 3 or 4 inches on the ground. Perfect timing for Christmas!!


Christmas Morning.

Coffee- check, Laptop- check, Ginormous Gift- check... let the opening of gifts begin!

Santa ate his usual, sugar cookies and milk. Kellen had fun showing Pa some $ he received. And a big bonus for me this year, I didn't even have to clean up wrapping paper-- Mason ate it all :) And he totally would have if would have let him! Goat!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas! And Christmas flashbacks.

Merry Christmas 2012!

I feel like we've really lucked out the past two years visiting Santa-- short lines, easy experiences with pretty good pictures! This years Santa even had a real beard, real white hair, glasses and rosy cheeks. And we could take our own pictures... for free! bonus!

Each Christmas has been a little bit different (like adding a new child each year to our pics or something?!?)

Last year with Santa.

Many family Christmas parties to attend. 

Visiting the Santa (she/man-- it was an obvious woman) at Grandma Julia's retirement facility.

Took me 150 pics to get all 3 to look at me :)

2008 was our first Christmas back in Ohio. Our first snowy Christmas in 7 years! It was nice and very welcomed.

Safety Harbor, FL days... Good times at this ole house!

Baby Adrian's first Christmas in 2006.

And taking it WAY back to the beginning! I love that we've (mostly John) kept all these old pictures organized so we can look back at all of these awesome memories.

Our first Christmas when we lived in Tampa on Davis Island in our teeny tiny 600 sq.ft. apartment that we paid way too much for, but was on the water with the best views of downtown Tampa and we were  just 10 steps from the Bay! Some fantastic times we had there! 

So Christmas has changed a bit... 
for the better of course. We now can enjoy the thrill and the magic of Santa all over again though our 4 beautiful boy's eyes and this has been the best year yet for that.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Loosen that Belt

Mr. Claus!

The boys and I made some uber yummy sugar cookies for Santa. Actually, burnt a batch, and my homemade frosting was a little less than desirable-- Oy Vey...I'm just not a good baker! Good thing the kids don't notice that sort of thing yet and I'm sure Santa won't notice either.

Last years cookies turned out much better!

Caught in the act. It wasn't hard... this was about every two minutes :)
IT IS the best part about baking pastries!

And he was so proud of his frosting abilities. It was very cute!

Poor Mason's not big enough to do these fun projects yet, so instead he gets chased around the house with a camera flashing in front of him.

Our "Lil Goat-Chipmunk"... he's always eating anything and everything on the floor and storing it in his chubby cheeks for later.

Friday, December 14, 2012

It Happened Again

"The man" turned a year older last week! 

And we celebrated by making a Ginger Bread house. This is what you do in your 30's and when you have a bunch of little ones to entertain. The kids were thrilled and couldn't wait to make this spectacular ginger creation.

Another year, another birthday. And I hate to admit that when we were young and all of the older people told us the older you get the faster the time goes (I totally thought they were full of it) turns out-- they were right!! It makes me sad. I just want to bottle up so many of these moments with John and the kids and keep them so they can last forever! 

We had fun making our very first Ginger Bread house (yes, the kids have been deprived). And I just knew it-- the kids ate at least 1/4 of the decorations. It was inevitable, they love sugar... they're addicts and this is why I have to monitor this stuff closely.

Precision at it's best.

Taddaaa! Just beautiful!

Sooo.... after the wild and crazy night of Ginger Bread house making, a few days later John really got to celebrate his birthday with a "day date" a nice lunch and a couples massage. OMGoodness it was relaxing, heavenly and just what we both needed! It was just really nice to relax together since it doesn't happen very often.


On a very sad note today, hugging the kids much tighter tonight and extra kisses at bedtime. The world is getting a little strange and scary out there and it sorta makes me want to homeschool the kids (as crazy as that would be) It's sad that our little ones safety could be compromised somewhere as safe as school should be. Counting our blessing tonight... and every night!

And... I'm going shopping for a giant bubble to put the boys in tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Boot Socks - WIWW

DIY Boot Socks/Cuffs/Leg Warmers/Boot Toppers
(what ever you wanna call them)

DIY-- as in like all of 30 seconds. 
(minus purchasing the materials)

My favorite easy, comfy "go-to" outfit is some leggings and a big sweater/sweatshirt and boots. 

Also.... Linking up with WIWW 
(because I like to about once a year :) Last time I linked up.
It really has a great purpose, especially for SAHM's who sometimes forget about themselves. I know I'm guilty of that on occasion.

Sweater: Old Navy
Tank top: F21
Sweater Leggings: Khols
Boot Socks: DIY thrifting
Scarf:  Marshalls
Boots:  Marshalls

I'll eventually get some of these Crochet Boot Cuffs on Etsy... but until then I DIY'd it at the thrift store (I love thrift stores and good deals!). I spent a whopping $10 and bought 3 sweaters. These were ones that I basically just liked the material and color, not the actually whole sweater per se. Then it took me about 30 seconds to cut the sleeves off and BAM... I had my very, very inexpensive sweater boot socks. 

I must throw in how John makes fun of me... (it's often) Asking me if I'm ready to go do a Jane Fonda work out in my leg warmers. Gotta love the average mans sense of fashion/humor :)

If I could live in fuzzy warm sweater tights and leggings all year around I would so do it! It really doesn't get much more comfy than that :) Actually, it's either that OR jammies, which I sport all day about 3 days a week, sad to say. The wardrobe of a busy mom... right!?!? First comes the kids, then husband (sometimes reversed?), then everything else, then showering, then picking out an outfit. (I don't get to that last one very much).

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chalkboard Paint: Pinterest Project

Chalkboard Paint: Good Stuff!

Since all of our kids love to draw, especially with chalk this made perfect sense to do the little boys (Preston and Kellen's) bedroom.

All while utilizing some unused space in their bedroom. 

A decent sized corner of their bedroom needed something. (and we need curtains too, yes! :)


The "how to" part:


Chalkboard Paint (Home Depot) - they can do colored ones too, not just black
Paint Roller
Trim Tape
Tape Measure
Siliconized Acrylic Caulk Clear (and paintable)
Acrylic Paints of your choice

Measured the area and marked it off. 

Rolled it out.
Waited 4 hours.
Rolled it again and repeated one last time. 

Taped off some nice straight lines for the chalkboard border.

***Very Important for nice lines
I applied Clear Caulk to the edges of the tape to seal in the border lines. Make sure it's paintable caulk.

Figured this out the hard way... Textured walls really suck for painting fine lines and pictures!!
My first experience with this and I'm sad to say that I don't think the I'll be doing one these murals here on these walls anytime soon.

I went with a city scape theme to decorate the top because it's what the kids are really into right now. Cities, building, roads....
I used mostly acrylic paints for the buildings and a little regular wall paint as well.

John: "Isn't it called a Post Office" 
Yes, I know this... but I didn't measure and started too close to the edge, so my fix was to make it a "Postal Service" instead (I'm technically right :) And it happens to be the name of one of our favorite bands. So it just works!!

Their room is full of their very own original artwork.

Melting Crayons Project: Here

It turned out better than I envisioned. Took over a week to complete, working on it an hour here, 30 min. here and 15 minutes there, And having the little's hang out in the room while working on this ended up like this...

Hello-- permanent Sharpie marker. Good thing those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers really do get almost anything off. I don't even want to know what's in them! Lot's of nasty stuff I'm sure.

Whallllaaa! Hours of fun to come!