Monday, November 30, 2009

MMM: The mess says it all



If the mess
on the table and floor
and highchairs
and all over US
is any indication, I'd say today was a success. In today's MMM the boys learned how to make salt dough ornaments and I learned to let them make salt dough ornaments (and worry about the mess later).







Add the ingredients


Then stir





Cover some wax paper in flour

Then roll out the dough
(see the flour spots on
the camera?!?!)






Cut into your favorite
Christmas Shapes
Then add to the pan, poke a hole
for the ornament hanger
and bake







After the ornaments cool
you are ready to paint
(a brush in each hand helps
the creative juices flow)


And there you have it. Salt dough ornaments extraordinaire
(plus one purple polk-a-dotted snake)!

and just in case you wondered what baby sister thought about all of the mess...

Another crazy fun Monday!

ABL

ps- This was probably not the best idea for a craft on a day when there is company coming for dinner!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

from our three little tukeys.
ABL

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

SERIOUSLY...

Couldn't you just EAT HER UP?!?!




and her Daddy is pretty amazing as well!
ABL

Monday, November 23, 2009

MMM: Library Amateur

Today MMM went on a fieldtrip to one of my favorite places. The library. Seriously, there was a time when I probably could have won an award for frequent visitor. I checked out books and books on tape and I knew how to navigate the online card catalogue like it was my job. I used to love stopping in just to browse.
Then we had children.
I've never taken any of my children before (for obvious reasons)
but today decided that with the help of our dear friend,
Mr. Combi Double stroller (turned triple stroller), we could give it a test whirl.
and the boys L-O-V-E-D it.

Must be in their blood.
We read stories.
(KJ took this picture)


We worked puzzles.
You will notice, if you look closely, that someone left a pile of pieces jumbled together on the floor behind our stroller. KJ was quite concerned that someone did not put things away when they finished. It was my Cbug the puzzle-lover, though, that got them all sorted back to their proper puzzles. Guess what he is getting for Christmas?



and we played with Dominoes.
Who knew there were dominoes at the library?
This actually was one of their favorite parts.


and this was mine...
video
My least favorite part was when we finally made some selections for taking home and headed to the check-out. I knew we were about 45 seconds away from everyone reaching their limit. I'd already changed two diapers, taken KJ to the potty, tracked down Cbug's missing shoe, fed Libby, etc and was getting pretty close to D-O-N-E. I pushed the double stroller up to the counter only to find out that my card had expired. Great. Back to park the boys in front of puzzles, get in another line, fill out a form, sign the back of the card, collect the children, head back to the front, to check out the books...all while racing the melt-down-clock. Shew. I was sweating. Come to find out, if you are a "library amateur" you can only get 5 items on the first visit. We had 7. The nice man, just doing his job, pointed that out. I smiled sweetly, and we came home with 7. I bet he could smell the sweat...and deep down he had to know the truth.
I'm no library amateur.
I love this place.
I love these kids.
and now these kids love this place.
We'll be back to the library for sure.
ABL

Monday, November 16, 2009

MMM- Thanksgiving Mural

The MMM fun continued today with a Thankgiving mural that we'll be mailing soon to someone that won't be with family for the holidays.


<-- We started with a big piece of butcher paper taped to the dining room floor (away from furniture!)

Then we added some paint, using sponges and different sizes of paint brushes.



















And finally...I added the words and
traced the kiddos' hands and feet to cut-out and make turkeys
(might have to look closely, they are a bit camouflaged).

In the interest of transparency, a couple of quick notes about this project-

1) The feet/hands turkey project seemed like a really cute idea, but lets be honest. I did all the work and they hated being still to have their hands and feet traced. I'd rather do projects where they do most of the work. They enjoy it more and actually so do I.

2) The kids loved the painting, but it definitely tested my patience and I'm not sure it was worth it for the length of time it held Cbug's attention. KJ probably could have lasted longer so maybe next time I'll try to find a way to paint with just him. Then again, my shortage of patience might have more to do with the road trip we took yesterday with the three kids (should have taken 4.5 hours and instead took 7). Who knows.

Despite that, the finished product was super cute and I can't wait to mail it! And it was great to have a plan for this morning because it kept me from getting swept up immediately into post-trip laundry and cleaning. I think my kids appreciated that...although, this afternoon (after refusing to take a nap AT ALL) they watched Cars so I could finish said laundry. At least we made a good memory first :)

ABL

Monday, November 9, 2009

MMM: The best plans...

...are made to be broken!
So one thing I hadn't factored into this whole "Makeover My Monday" business was that I might actually learn a few things about myself. Today's lesson: A type-A accountant with a plan is sometimes dangerous and may completely lose sight of the goal to protect the plan.

Today didn't go like I planned and I was definitely frustrated at first. It was my fault, I hadn't really prepared ahead of time, but I had big visions of doing wonderful things for some veterans. I mean really, we even dressed in red, white and blue. However, the book I was going to get from the library was checked out, the lady we needed to talk to at the retirement home about visiting veterans was out today and to be honest, my kids were in no mood for my plans. So even though we did color some awesome pictures to mail to our favorite Lieutenant, Uncle D, that was pretty much IT for our the MMM:Veteran's Day edition.

BUT MMM was never really about "the plan" right. The heart of it really was spending intentional time with my kiddos. right? So, even though my plan failed with a capital F...this Monday was still a keeper. With every ounce of determination I could muster (and it took a lot), I abandoned the plan, then left the laundry, the dishes and the grime sitting right where they were and headed out for some fun. We may not have given hugs and handshakes to veterans, but we sure did makeover our Monday!






We sat outside and watched
the recycle truck. (A big event
around here! )









We celebrated the earning of a Mack Truck (it cost KJ ten hard earned pennies).






Then we continued our celebrations of
KJ's accomplishments with a lunch with
Daddy and playing for a long time
at the "adventure bridge park"
(as dubbed by KJ).


Now, you tell me that wasn't a Monday well spent...even if it is still killing me that my plan wasn't the best plan for today :) We did have several "Monday" moments today (thanks to a certain almost 2-year-old testing his Mommy), but I loved that we also did a lot of laughing, playing, and enjoying this beautiful Monday.
Oh, and I do have to tell you about my "consolation prize". So, when I said we didn't get to meet any veteran's today, I wasn't entirely truthful. We didn't meet any in the way I had planned, but a meeting was arranged, none-the-less. We went to Chick-Fil-A (shockingly) to meet RRL for lunch and "happened" to sit next to three ladies working busily on a project for their church. We soon overheard that they were organizing an effort to send care-packages to soldiers. I nudged RRL and he just grinned. He knew that I had been frustrated last night when I couldn't really figure out a good way to get stuff together to send to soldiers. I definitely went over, met the ladies, heard about the project and found out how I could help. I also got to introduce KJ to one of the ladies who just "happened" to be a Vietnam Veteran, having served for 23 years in the army. KJ got to talk to her, tell her thank you and shake her hand. I don't think he had any idea what was going on, but it was an awesome MMM moment for his mommy. Thanks Lord for that, and for reminding me that even a type A accountant can step outside the plan and be BLESSED.
ABL
oh, and PS- after all of our "unplanned" MMM fun, all three of my kids slept for 2.5 hours and I got a LOT done around our house! Three cheers for that.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

I LOVE LOVE LOVE pumpkin patch pictures. Seriously, I think they are so much fun! Every year, though, I seem to forget how much I sweat just trying to get one decent picture. It didn't change a bit from one baby to three. Just as much sweat. Only this year, KJ was big enough to speak for the group. On the way to the pumpkin patch, I was getting them excited, talking about how much fun it was going to be and oh by the way, we are going to take some pictures. KJ spoke up from the way back of the van. "Um, Mom...we are not going to smile for pictures". It was like he had consulted his siblings and just wanted me to know. They were true to their word, too. Ah well. Maybe next year.

2006
2007

2008

2009



I still love them, even when the don't smile. Its still a memory that I'll treasure and over a year's time, probably even forget the sweat part, and just remember that:
-this was the first year the KJ didn't wear overalls to the pumpkin patch
-Cbug was happiest when everyone just left him alone sitting at a picnic table with a couple of tiny pumpkins to bang on it
-Lou had way more fun pulling the fake plants apart than anything else we did
-My favorite pumpkins are the ones I get to tuck into bed everynight!

ABL

MMM- 5 Senses Nature Walk

Last week I explained a bit about my plan to "Makeover My Monday"

Today, we went on a nature walk.

I already had the idea to do a walk around our neighborhood but then I found a fun website with the idea to make it more purposeful, talking about your 5 senses. This was by FAR the best Monday project yet. My kids LOVED it, no set up or clean up, completely free, provides some exercise (especially for the nature guide) and it was even educational :). Even Lou loved being in the stroller outside. We couldn't have better custom ordered the weather and it was so pretty we stayed out and about for nearly 2 hours. So fun!



God gave us
EYES to SEE.
We saw fall colors (at least various shades of green and yellow) and looked for "wild animals" in the "forest". We watched the splash that rocks make and the saw the bright light that comes from the sun.






God gave EARS to HEAR.
We listened to the sound of the moving water,
the songs of the birds, the chirping of the crickets,
the sounds of an airplane and a train and our favorite...
the sound of an echoing hammer
(bonus that someone was working on their fence).







God gave us NOSES to SMELL.
We got to smell the flowers (mostly dandelions).








God gave us FINGERS to TOUCH.
We felt the tops of wild rye, the smooth rocks from the creek,
the coolness of the mud (not Mommy's idea)
and the different textures of the leaves on the ground.
We also did some "feeling" before we left.
We felt cotton balls, sandpaper and pennies and
tried to guess what we were feeling without peeking.
Lou did lots of "feeling" the wind on her face and the sun on her toes!



And God gave us MOUTHS to TASTE. We made our snacks at home before we left as the nature guide for this activity was VERY certain that we would not find anything on this walk that we should taste!! While I was making the bag of snacks, I would put one item in their mouths and let them guess what it was (goldfish, marshmallows and M&Ms). I think this was their favorite part (thank you, leftover Halloween treats).
Some bonus activities that this nature guide might try to avoid next time:
-The smell of a nice large pile of doggy poo on our path
- Feeling how wet pants can get running through tall wet grass to catch a nature-exploring-escapee.
-KJ feeling the joy of a soaking wet slide (check out his pants <--)
- Realizing that the leaf you think your two-year-old is looking at(with his hands) is really a decaying banana peel.
-Hearing your 3-year-old announce to the playground that he poo-poos in the potty.
-Knowing that there is no way that your boys didn't taste some of what they touched!
But even with all of that...I wouldn't trade these moments for the world.

Thanks, Monday.

ABL