Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow, 'Lymics, and more snow!

Like everybody else in the southeast, we heard that snow was in
the forecast for Friday afternoon. Sure enough, it started snowing around 3:30 in the afternoon and we were lucky to already have Will home from work! After a little had accumulated on the ground, we took the girls outside for a minute to let them walk around in it while it was falling.

The girls' first reactions to the snow on Friday afternoon:

Caroline was not all that impressed...

and Anna Cate was...
well, what would you call that look?
Let's just say a little giddy mixed with apprehension.


But all apprehension quickly disappeared as soon as Caroline started chasing her through the snow.

Will had already promised Anna Cate a "camp out" in the den earlier in the week to watch the opening ceremonies to the Olympics (or the 'Lympics as Anna Cate likes to call them) on Friday night. How perfect that it was also snowing outside!!

This was a family first, but something I'm sure will become a tradition because we had so much fun! :) We pulled our mattresses out into the den and cozied up by the fire for the night. Needless to say, Anna Cate LOVED it.
Caroline joined us until it was her bedtime and then she slept back in her crib. The girls had a ball playing on the giant bed in the middle of the den floor.

We thought Anna Cate would crash by 9:00 but this little stinker was still going strong at 10:30! Finally she feel asleep waiting to see them light the Olympic Torch.

When we woke up Saturday morning, we had SNOW!!! We quickly ate breakfast and then bundled the girls up to go play outside.
This was the only picture I took of the house as we were driving up to my parent's house to get the sled and 4-wheeler.

The girls and I watched as Will tried the first attempt at sledding. (This isn't the greatest picture, but the only one I have with all three of us).

First he tried the hill beside the garden, but it wasn't big enough.

So then we loaded up the gator with the sled, saucer, and Silar and rode around exploring the "compound" and looking for a bigger hill. (For those of you who do not know, we live on the same street as my parents, along with two of my aunts, my grandparent's lakehouse, and the family garden so we jokingly refer to it as the "compound." And yes, life does get interesting around here. I'm currently taking notes to write a book one day. Just kidding! Well, maybe not...) ;)

We rode down to the lakehouse...

and I could have stayed there all morning just sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee looking out at the snow on the water, but everybody else was ready to move on.

Silar pouted as we made him wait in the gator so he wouldn't go swimming in the lake. See his little head poking over the side?

We rode down the street to check on the donkeys. No not ours, just some random farm animals that live on our street that the girls love to stop and talk to when we go walking.

We then rode over to my aunt's house to try sledding on the big hill overlooking the pond.

Anna Cate's first attempt.
Will she like it...?

Yes, I think she LOVED it!

Caroline got to try too!

There is a little smile on that sweet face!

After awhile the snow started melting from the trees and the girls were getting hungry so we headed home for some grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. We spent the rest of the afternoon thawing out by the fire, enjoying a long nap and watching some 'lympics.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Busy with Friends!

Hannah and James (and Bert too!) were in town this week so we took the opportunity to all get the kiddos together for a playdate at the zoo!

Just look at this cutie! Does she not have the most amazing eyes? Darrell, you better watch out in about 15 years! ;)

This little stud muffin who is about to become a big brother in a few short weeks!

And these two silly monkeys.

Anna Cate's favorite animal to see:

We should have known better than to try to get a picture with all four of them:
This one was about the best we could do...

zoo pic
Seriously? No explanation is needed.


Then today, we had a few friends over for a little Valentine's day pizza party.
the yummy cupcakes AC helped me make this morning for dessert.

making her heart shaped pizza (that she doesn't eat).

Mmmmm...must be good!! :) Every other picture I snapped of Miss Carlysle this morning she was talking very expressively, with her hands. She is a mess and hands down the funniest toddler I have ever met.

Miss Mason looks like a little valentine herself with her pink shirt and bow!

And we are loving these things:

This time of year is so hard to find interesting things to keep AC entertained since we can't play outside. I bought a package of these at Hobby Lobby with my 40% coupon for $3.50 and we have played with them everyday for a week and haven't started to put a dent in the box yet.


They are fun AND a great learning tool. You can do all kinds of activities like patterns, addition & subtraction, grouping colors, etc. Not to mention they are quiet and clean. Two nice qualities to have in an afternoon activity while I'm trying to get dinner on the table! :)

Easy Breezy Summer Skirt

It's been awhile! Maybe blogging will just have to become a once a week thing for me right now. Life is incredibly busy and I have so much to share, but no time to actually load the photos and find the words to narrate. And as much as I love the blogging community, I'm trying to make more of a conscious effort to spend more time in our real life community with friends and family.

The first sewing workshop went well this past Saturday. I seriously didn't know if I'd have everything together in time because the girls and I were still fighting a lingering cold last week. Thanks to some Co-Advil and a Nettie pot, I was able to pull myself together just in time!

All of the ladies who came did an amazing job with their first sewing projects! My camera was charged and ready to go, but of course I failed to take any pictures. You'll just have to take my word that their bibs and dresses turned out super cute! ;)

I had planned to send them this follow-up tutorial to practice all of their mad sewing skills, but instead, I'll post it here so anybody who is interested can make one:

Easy Breezy Summer Skirt Tutorial


This skirt is so easy it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish!

Please note that I made my skirt as a size 3T. You can easily change the measurements to accommodate whatever size you need.

-1/2 yard of fabric (lightweight cotton)
-1 package of Bias Tape (double fold)
-1" wide elastic
-buttons (optional)

For those of you who have never sewed with bias tape, you can find bias tape at any sewing/craft store and it comes in a little clear package like this:


It is usually about $1.50 and is the SECRET to making this skirt so EASY! It is typicaly used to finish the edges of a quilt or blanket. You want to be sure to buy the DOULBE WIDE tape because it is a long piece of fabric that easily folds over the edge of your project to give it a nice finished edge without the hassle of hemming.

Step 1:
Measure your child to find out how long you want the skirt and then add 1.5 inches. I wanted the skirt to be about 10.5 inches, so I needed my total length to be 12 inches.

Leave your fabric folded in half (usually when you buy fabric, it is already folded on the bolt at the store) and measure down how long you want the skirt to be.

After you've made your cut, you can open your fabric up and will have one long rectangle.
Mine measured 44" wide by 12" long.

Step 2:
Using your (double wide) bias tape, slide the edge of the skirt into the fold of the tape and pin into place.


Use a coordinating thread to sew the bias tape to the bottom of the skirt. See what I mean? Instant hem! And it took all of 2 minutes to sew. :)

Step 3:
Fold the skirt together so that the right sides are facing each other and pin the sides of the skirt together.


Sew the skirt together using a straight stitch. Then go back over it with a zig zag stitch to prevent fraying.

Step 4:
Fold the waist of your skirt over twice to create a pocket for the elastic (aka waistband).

Sew (with a straight stitch) all the way around the top and the bottom of the waist band, being sure to leave about a 3 inch opening at the bottom stitch for your elastic.


Step 5:
Measure the child's waist and add 2 inches to cut a piece of elastic. Using a safety pin, thread your elastic through the waistband. (For reference, I usually use a 20 inch piece of elastic for Anna Cate's skirts).


Be sure to sew your elastic ends together with a tight zig zag stitch and then sew the opening to your waistband closed.

Turn your skirt right side out and sew on your decorative buttons.
Congratulations... You are finished!

Before I go, let me also share my inspiration for creating the Easy Breezy Summer Skirt:

At the end of the summer last year, I found some white ruffled tank tops (like the ones above) on clearance for $1 at Wal-mart and bought several for Anna Cate and Caroline. I had just come across this tutorial and thought they would be precious summer play clothes for the girls.


The skirt wasn't hard at all to make and it turned out as cute as can be, but it took FOREVER to sew. Well, it took about 2 1/2 hours total with the three rows of fabric and pockets. But 2 hours is a long time to spend on one play skirt when you have very little free time to spare! I had to come up with an easier way to crank out multiple skirts for her summer wardrobe. But this was definitely a project worth passing on though! ;)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Sweetest Sound...


and Caroline just started saying it! :)
I have to admit that hearing it for the first time is just as sweet the second time around. Anna Cate's first word was "daddy" so this makes it even more special for Caroline's first word to be for me.

The first time I heard it was when I put her down for her afternoon nap last Wednesday. I walked out of their room and heard "Mama ma" but I had to do a double take because it sounded just like Anna Cate's voice. I poked my head back in the door and asked Anna Cate if she had called me and she said, "No ma' am that was Pluffy!"

I took this picture of her last night in the tub and then remembered one I had similar of Anna Cate at this age. When I found it on the computer, I realized it was literally taken at almost the exact same time (age wise) because they are 2 years and 10 days apart.

Caroline - February 1, 2010

Anna Cate - January 18, 2008

Changing gears, a sore throat we all had last Tuesday morning turned into a week-long yucky cold that we are still fighting off. All I can say is it is hard to take care of everybody when we are all sick at the same time, especially if you have Anna Cate living in your house with a runny nose. Anybody who has been around her when she is sick can empathize, because she walks around all day saying "Me nose, me nose!" But in the most whiny, drawn out voice you can possibly imagine. More like this:

"Me Noooose, Meeeee nooooooose Mama!"

Thankfully, Will picked these babies up at the store on his way home from work one afternoon and it has helped her nose significantly. I highly recommend them to anyone with a runny nose.

Puffs + lotion + Vicks = RELIEF!

Being sick and at home for a full week has also wreaked havoc on our house. No matter how fast I can pick up the messes, another one is made somewhere else in the house. I've all but given up:

Their room was spotless when I put them down for a nap, aka rest time, for Anna Cate. This is what I found when I went to get them up.

Does it look like she was resting to you????

Disaster Area #2 is the playroom. Now that Caroline is crawling, I've got double the trouble trying to keep things picked up and put away.

We did venture out of the house yesterday morning to run to the grocery store. I saw these yellow tulips and splurged! Having been stuck inside for 6 days will give you the worst case of cabin fever. They were just the pick-me-up I needed and made me long for spring and warmer weather. (as you can see we also made the heart garland from the tutorial I shared last week. It took about 30 minutes total and looks cheering hanging on the china hutch in the kitchen (that I have still yet to paint!) Definitely a project worth trying. Fun & Easy.)

While we were at the store I also saw these cute valentine mini muffin cups.

We brought them home and tried them out with this recipe for homemade


chocolate peanut butter cups

They are sooooooo yummy that you can't eat just three. ;) More like six or seven. I had intended for Will to take them to work to share, but he left them on the counter this morning and sadly they are now all gone. Guess I'll just have to make another batch. They would make the perfect Valentine for somebody special!

Click HERE for the recipe

And this afternoon, the messes continue as my kitchen table looks like this:

I am trying to get things together for the first sewing workshop scheduled for this weekend. I'm a little nervous and a lot excited so hopefully things will come together in time!

We had to have a lunch picnic in the den today because of everything on the kitchen table. You can see how upset Caroline is that Anna Cate won't share her lunch. :) Oh how I love these moments that occur about 567 times a day around here!