Thursday, January 31, 2013

In the Library!

For quite some time, Cooper has been bringing home small little books to read every night. And just last week, he finished all of those books his teacher has in her classroom! That means that he gets to start going to the school library each day to take Accelerated Reader tests! He was so excited to have something new going on during school time and to have made it through all the little books!

To celebrate and acknowledge his achievement, I put together a simple little gift and Ryder and I were waiting for him inside the school that day to give it to him! Ryder wasn't feeling ultra great that day, but he's still stylin' in Mom's sunglasses!

Now Cooper has his picture on the big display outside the library :) He is a great reader, even though we have to twist his arm to get all his reading done some days. We are so proud of him! 

And in other cute boy news: 

Hanging out, taking turns playing on my phone... Little everyday moment


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Daily Valentine Surprises

We've been getting ready to start our daily Valentine surprises again, starting this Friday on the 1st! For the last two years, I've made boxes for the boys that we put a small treat in each night for them to find in the morning- they LOVE this tradition and, I confess, I love it just as much! It's kinda like "Elf on the Shelf" for Valentines season!

I saved the boxes I used last year- I just took a box that was about the right size, modified a titch to get the hinge opening that I attached a knob to, and covered it in kraft paper. I re-covered them this year so the boys could decorate for a new year. I cut their names out of a red scrap of vinyl with my Cricut.

 I gave the boys these Valentines papers that I got in a pack from the dollar spot at Target. For some reason, I thought they would cut little hearts, given its Valentines. But, I had to smile at the reminder of what a boys life it is around here when Cooper cut out pieces to create a shark! Love it :)

And then, of course, Ry needed a shark too and hacked this one out himself!
I told him his looked like a jet and he liked that even better.
Have I mentioned recently that Boys Rule? :)

The boy-ness continued as Coop drew a monitor lizard on top of his- it turned out awesome! I have really been trying hard to just put things in front of the boys and let them create as they will, instead of interjecting so much. I want them to grow up knowing that what they do is great, instead of that I always had to follow behind and "fix" it. I can be kinda particular, so this is hard sometimes, even though it shouldn't be!

Now we are ready to go for them to wake up to the first fun Valentines surprise on Friday morning!

Here's a few ideas I've pinned that I'll be trying to make for them- most of the daily surprises are homemade. Either that, or I get them at the Target dollar spot or Dollar Tree :)

I LOVE this idea- a pillow fight shield! I wanted to whip these up for Christmas but ran out of time :)

These cool scarves have a slot for tucking in, instead of having to tie,
plus a treasure pocket on the back side- the boys will love that!

Laminated faces (another idea was laminated flash cards- I may try that too)
and include dry erase markers :)

You blow on the straw when it's tucked in to make these fly!

You can see the simple things I've included in their boxes in the past
HERE and HERE  and HERE :)


Thursday, January 24, 2013


I haven't been Instagram-ing for very long, but even just in the time that I have,
I can scroll back through my vintage-y cre8ivesky pictures and realize that
they tell the story of our everyday life rather well...

Like how I can tell my husband is in love with me
because of this look on his face during a  lunch date the other day;

and how this sandwich from our favorite local lunch spot is always fabulous.

I can tell that the boys are happy when we visit Dad at work and he spins them in his office chair.
I'd say really they are just happy in general :)

I can tell I am blessed by the stunning aquarium in my front room.
Admittedly, I'll feel more blessed when the aquarium mess from the swap to a bigger tank he's doing right now is gone... :/
For sure, though, the aquarium stuff is more a blessing than a curse-
Stephen has an aquarium maintenance and stocking side business.
And that income makes it so that life as we know it is possible :)

I can tell that I have a little boy who enjoys being with Mom
when all the other brothers are off hunting with Dad.
And that he looks so sweet when he's napping, taking me back to when he wasn't this big.

My Instagrams remind me that I might actually be one of those fun type Moms
who takes her kids sledding... even if  they look like they can barely breathe all the while!

They prove that I love holding hands with my boys;
love it when they want to hold my hand back. :)

I look back on my pictures and remember our sliding door being frozen shut because it was -20!
And that, no, the hair dryer did not work...

I scroll through and smile that I'm married to an amazing man
who does more than just looks good while he smiles at me...
he also brings purple flowers home from work on a whim.

I am Insta-Blessed with a Capital B!

I would love to see your daily blessedness on Instagram too!
Leave a link or your user name in a comment so I can follow along!
You can find me HERE :)


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cute Fabric Valentine Snakes

Pin It!
Hooray for sharing my first Valentine idea of the year!

We LOVE, love, love Valentines season around here- yes, indeed, it is a season, not just a day :) This is Cooper's favorite holiday and he loves helping come up with ideas for what to give his classmates. Recently we laid in bed together, when he was supposed to be falling asleep, and came up with a fun Valentines idea that is right up his alley- these adorable candy-filled fabric snakes!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Frozen Bubbles: Making them Work!

Last year on New Years Eve it was just below 32-degrees.
I'd seen on Pinterest how you can blow bubbles if it's below freezing and they'll freeze,
then break when they hit the ground. Cool, right?!

I thought the boys and my nieces at our house that night would think that was pretty cool, so we gave it a try... and it was a complete bust! I felt rather dumb for even trying to be cool! :P

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Here and Now: Ryderisms

Ryder seems to have a plethora of nicknames as the baby of the family- RyBabe, Ry Ry, Baby Ry, BabyO, Ryderoo. Spelling them out makes them seem particularly silly! He hates being called a baby, but I think he actually quite likes being the youngest. He'll always be my baby :)

Here and Now: Cooperisms

Yesterday Cooper said to me,
"Mom, did you know I'm an American?!" I responded, "That's right!" and after a pause, "Does that make you feel proud to be an American?"

"Why?" he asked. Me: "Because this is a great place to live, because the people in America make it great."

I was satisfied with my answer, but felt kinda sad that this was the first he'd ever really thought about pride for our country. Guess he's only five, eh? :) These types of statement/answer moments are not rare!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Simple Square Bean Bags

So it's about time I posted something crafty-ish, eh?

For quite awhile now, I've wanted to make the little boys a beanbag.
The big sham pillows from our bed had long since been sequestered to serve as their cushions for TV watching, fort building, slamming each other over the head while pillow fighting... ya know, boy life. :) Anyhow, I decided I'd make them my homemade Christmas present to them this year. I really liked the ones I saw at this post- I love the square shape for a beanbag!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hello, 2013...

Source: via Sky on Pinterest

Normally, January 1 comes around and I've had all kinds of illusions of grandeur
for how much better the year will be. For some reason,
this year I just... haven't so much.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Break Time

Our family is back in the saddle! Maybe even more so than ever before :) The saddle as in archery, that is. This year Keaton got a compound bow for Christmas and Stephen surprised me with one too! Cooper,  Taron and Stephen already had one and little Ry is still happy with the good ole' kids string bow. Over the break, we went to Downwind Archery and got  the feel for shooting again.

I know most women wouldn't be too happy about getting hunting gear from their husband, but this is one hobby Stephen brought into our marriage that I really do love! Remember we spent our anniversary a couple years ago at a 3D shoot? I think the last time we all shot together for real was a few years ago and I was carrying Cooper (maybe Ryder??) in a baby backpack and hiking/ shooting at the same time. Since then I've taken a bit of a break to let our little guys get big enough to enjoy this with us for real- I am so excited! I think we are all in our element here :)

The boys did a lot of just chillin' over the break too. One fun thing they did was battle with their Hexbug Warriors they each got in their stockings- they are these fun, beefed up little Hexbugs that actually have lives and armor and stuff- kinda neat :)

We also enjoyed the snow and did several rounds of sledding at the hills right by our church building! Didn't get any pics- was too busy watching them have fun I guess. I have awesome memories of sledding trips as a kid and this is sure a cool spot to make some for the boys! I love that it's seriously right down the road :) We also pulled the boys behind the truck in the big, slick church parking lot- saved us having to fight the crazy crowd on New Years Day!

The little boys and I also went with Stephen flying on the hills around here- it was SO, SO, SO cold! I really wanted to get familiar with my other Christmas present- a tiny bright red hand gun! Stephen and I will be taking a day-long concealed weapons class later this month and I can hardly wait! Now is the time and I am so ready to have the security of knowing I could be helpful in a bad situation if I had to be. Anyhow... we did shoot a little bit, but wow, it was so cold I didn't get in nearly as much of it as I would've liked- check out this frosty sagebrush we were in. I'm lovin' that it's actually white around here!

Another cool thing we've done over the break is stock our freezer! My parents very generously gave us the neatest Christmas gift- a gift card to purchase a significant supply of meat! We got to pick the items we most needed and wanted at Costco and then cut it up ourselves- what a great feeling! My parents are amazing and we are so grateful. Wrapping our meat in freezer paper and labeling it with a Sharpie sure brought back memories of  butchering my Dad and Grandpa's harvests from hunting trips  as a kid...



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