Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Upcycled Outfits

I have been converting some of my old maternity clothes into new outfits for the kids.  Here are my latest projects:

Violet got a peasant top and pinstripe pocket pants.
I roughly based the shirt off of this pattern from Prudent Baby.
The pants are  Basic Pocket Pants from Sew Liberated.
I used this onesie dress tutorial for Bea's dress
Matching sisters...have to do this while they still let me!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yertle the Turtle

With Dr. Seuss' birthday right around the corner, we've been reading Seuss books lately.  At the library, we picked a story the kids had never read: Yertle the Turtle.  The story is about a greedy turtle king who sits on a throne made of other turtles, and poor little Mack, the turtle on the bottom of the stack.

After reading the book, we made a little "pond" out of a blue napkin, some aquarium plants, plastic turtles and some glass beads.  We practiced stacking up the glass beads (aka turtles), and then retold the story using props.  The kids loved it (especially the parts where Yertle yells things they aren't usually allowed to say to each "hush"!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent for Kids

Lent begins today with Ash Wednesday.  Every year our church does a neat Lenten activity.  Families collect one item for the food pantry each day during Lent, and then bring their boxes to church on Easter to donate.

We like to include the kids, so they painted our Lenten box.  Then we wrote a Bible verse on it (John 3:16) and put 40 little boxes on it so that we can check off each day as we add the food.

I think this is a nice way to mark Lent with little ones.  Giving up something for Lent is not developmentally appropriate for small children, but this is a simple, tangible way to mark the 40 days, and focus on the giving part of the season.  The message I stress with the kids is that we give to others as a reflection of the love that Jesus gave to us.  

I also found a neat printable Lent calendar here that we have used.  It is another way for kids to visualize the 40 day season of Lent.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

At the barn

My kids are lucky to have grandparents with a barn, two horses and a couple of kitties.  Matias and Violet love to visit the horses, feed them hay (strand by strand), fill water buckets, brush their noses and occasionally even take a little ride.  I snapped a few pictures when we were up at the barn the other day.  I thought I would share them.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Growing up, I spent a few years in England, where the Wellington Boot is practically the national footwear.  It is perfect for that rainy, puddly, horse-loving country.  Recently we had a perfect almsot-Spring day, so we headed over to the pond at Grandma and Grandpa's house for some splashing.  The pond was still frozen (enough for the kitties to walk across, though I wasn't about to try it!), but the edges were cracking and water was bubbling up through holes in the ice.  The pond froze really high and out of its banks, so the edges were very shallow.  The kids had a blast sliding, breaking up the ice, poking it with sticks and filling their boots with water.  Can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon.  And yes, of course, we topped it all off with hot is still Winter after all.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


One of my children (who shall remain nameless) is very resistant to going outside.  Once he gets out there, he usually has a decent time, but he would MUCH rather stay inside with his books and puzzles, especially when it is cold out.

A few weeks ago, however, I hit on an idea that had him racing to get his boots on so we could go outside.  We went on a drain hunt.  We walked up and down the street looking for street drains.  On this day, snow was piled in the gutters, melting and running to the drains.  The kids had a total blast watching leaves travel down the gutters to the drain, damming and un-damming the gutters with wet leaves, throwing chunks of snow into the drain.  It was a lot of fun.  I told them a story about my sister, Hannah, getting her shoe stuck in a drain once.  They loved the story and have retold it about 15 times (it gets more serious each time!)

Since then, we have gone on to find several more drains in our neighborhood (THREE at the park across the street), and the holy grail of drain enthusiasts...a three feet wide, trapezoidal drain that you can see into (you can even see the round concrete sewer junction inside).  They have been noticing them when we are driving in the car as well.

If you are looking for a good Spring activity to get outside, try searching out a drain or two on a wet day and see where it takes you!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Good Mornings!

Recently I read a blog post by my friend Julie, who said that "We used to both wake up at the first cry of our daugher around 7:30 and curse the day with our first breath (you know what I am talking about!)"  I don't know about you, but this sure resonated with me.

Matt and I decided to follow Julie's lead and try a new morning routine.  Now I get up with Matt at 6am.  We light a candle on the kitchen table and enjoy a cup of coffee and some breakfast, make Matt a lunch together, and he heads off to work.  Then I have a chance to browse the Interwebs, read my blogs and finish my coffee.   Then I shut down my computer (!!), put out cups of milk and breakfast for the kids, and get them up around 7:15.  While they eat, I empty the dishwasher and chat with them about what our day will hold.

Why this has been a wonderful blessing for us:

* It has made us go to bed earlier, and actually get MORE sleep
* We get to spend some time together in the morning, which puts us both in a good mood for the day
* We are making coffee and lunches instead of buying them
* My children wake up to a house that is warm, candlelit and waiting for them
* We are all fed and dressed and ready to start playing and working by 8am
* I get my fill of free time in the morning, and then turn off my computer- no more "quick checks" throughout the day (which really add up to a lot of time!)

Thanks Julie for the inspiration!


My latest hobby has been repurposing old sweaters into dresses for the girls.  I found a few really nice sweaters at Goodwill to sew up for Beatrice and Violet, as well as a few from my own closet (babes in cashmere- does it get snugglier?).

I used this tutorial for long sleeved dresses, and this tutorial for a short sleeved variety.  They tell you all you need to know to get started.  And really, the sweaters are practically free, so if you totally mess it up, you're only out a sweater.

My models have been a bit under the weather...I should get some better shots, but you get the idea!

Linking up today!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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