Saturday, September 28, 2013

Counting Down to Skylanders Swap Force

This post might just prove what a weirdo I really am...

See, my little guys used to see Skylanders toys in the store and think they were so cool. But we didn't have the game, hadn't been sucked in yet. But then Cooper had saved and received enough money to buy the Skylanders Giants Starter Pack for his birthday. Worse things have been purchased or received around here in the name of not wanting to tell him he "can't like what he likes." (I really don't want to be that kind of Mom, ya know?) So I let him spend his birthday money on it and even bought half of it so that there wouldn't end up being arguments with Ryder...

...and thus began the process of us getting promptly sucked in to the thrill of Skylanders. Ryder actually has probably become the number one fan around here. While I don't really play the actual game with them too often, I do find it fun to look for and try to collect a good variety of characters. They've been a treat or reward for the boys that actually lasts. I guess I'll raise my hand to the nerdy square- Skylanders really is cool!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

From the Boys' Perspective

Recently while I was crafting at our table, Cooper snagged my camera and (as you can see) entertained himself and Ryder both for a bit... I wasn't too worried because I always enjoy seeing the things they deem worthy of a picture... :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

In Awe of Antiques with Capri Sun Big Pouch

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

I'm really not an antiques buff... like at all. But, whenever I'm around oldie goodies, I sure wish I was! I LOVE cool Americana and the "roughness" of old things. My teenage stepson Taron and I recently had the chance to do a little "picking" thanks to Capri Sun Big Pouch.

I went to Walmart and snagged all three flavors- Capri Sun Big Pouch Fruit Punch, Kiwi Strawberry and Maui Cooler. YUM- the boys all loved the flavors, but Taron's favorite was Maui Cooler. The size of these pouches really is perfect for my teenage stepsons- significantly more substantial than the smaller ones. Taron really liked the twisty lid on these kind also. We most often grab drinks like this for our trips taking the boys to and from their Mom's, so that's a great  feature in my mind too! And at 88-cents each, they are so much more affordable than most other options they would choose.

Along with trying out the drinks, we're getting involved in a cool American Picking Contest with Capri Sun Big Pouch! The contest winner and three guests will get to fly to Nashville, Tennessee, to do a half day pick with Mike Wolfe, creator and star of American Pickers on History! What a sweet prize! I could sure learn more about old stuff then, eh?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Adorable Fabric PomPom Pumpkins with #myfavoritebloggers

Today I get to participate in another awesome monthly theme with #myfavoritebloggers! Because we tend to like fruits and veggies... and because, ya know, it's Fall these days... this month we're all sharing something relative to pumpkins! I love how my contribution turned out- these little pompom fabric pumpkins are so stinkin' cute!

Looks like you're in for a treat, eh?! I'm anxious to get around and check out all of their posts myself! This month there's even a few more of us playing along:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Seriously Amateur Photographer. Yep, That's Me

Is this not the cutest little family ever?!
I kinda think they are pretty wonderful... maybe because that handsome Dad is
my one and only little brother with his cute wife and my little nephew,
who might just be the cutest baby ever :)

I recently took some new family photos for them and it was so FUN! Even Conner (my brother) said that he thought it was fun- I took that as a compliment! Guys are always less than thrilled about getting pictures taken, right? :) Anyhow, just thought I'd share a few here with some of my thoughts on the experience of being a seriously amateur family photographer, as well as links to some great photography tutorials I looked through beforehand...

Monday, September 16, 2013

First Day of Preschool!

Our baby started preschool last week! He couldn't have been more excited to be going for real :) 

Some silly pics in the process, of course :) Just the day before he started, he told me, "I wish I had other kids to play with." Aww... made me so sad! I said, "I know, is Mom just too boring?" He replied, "Well...ya." Ha, ha :) I try, but I'll just never be as fun as other kids!

Neither of the boys honestly care to help too much in the kitchen, but I have been trying to get him to be in there with me more. He plays playdoh or puts ingredients in :) Here we were making peach pear jam- Yum! He actually just played playdoh on this one- I thought he'd like mashing the fruit, but not at all! :)

And just for the fun of it... the boys are now trampoline magicians.... :)


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Basic Collapsible Play Tents

This post was recently shared on The Ribbon Retreat Blog as part of their awesome Oh Boy! Series and I thought I'd share here as well. If I do say so myself, the series was pretty perfect for me... (boys are kinda my specialty) ;) When you're surrounded by them, they pretty much hafta be, ya know? The project I chose to share is one I've been wanting to make for a long while. And Coop and Ry have been loving them! And I LOVE working as a contributor for The Ribbon Retreat- they really are wonderful!

Boys and forts just kinda go together, right? They're sure a popular form of boredom control around here :) I wanted something that we could take outside, or set up quicker than normal inside. Something that I wouldn't necessarily have to take apart when it wasn't being used, but could still store easily. I think these basic collapsible play tents hit the mark! They fold together to be stored at the side of a closet or (in our case) under the bed. They are big enough with just a few yards of fabric to give my little guys lots of room for fun inside. And super easy sewing and frame construction- anyone can manage these :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dinner Tonight: Verde Chicken Mac n' Cheese

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client, #kraftrecipemakers.

Let me guess- dinner tonight at your house will look about like this: Dad walking in the door just as you set a lovely warm dish on the table already laden with healthy sides and sparkling silverware. You'll call the kids and they'll come in calmly so you can all sit down together and have one of your usual fabulous family meals. I've got it right on, haven't I?? I knew it!

(Cue ripple in the record sound NOW... or about 35 words ago- ha!) Dinner doesn't look anything like that most likely, right? Dad working late and one kid just getting home from piano while another is leaving soon for dance or soccer, all while dinner needs to be happening is more like it! Stephen rarely ever eats at the very same time my little boys need fed and I'm often driving to help him or pick him up in the evening.

When we're thinking of what to cook tonight, we just want the best easy meal possible! Usually, about the time I should be getting something on the table already, I'm actually standing at my pantry door, hoping for a quick meal miracle :/ Then I move to the fridge and freezer and go through the same motions again- ha!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

First Day of First Grade!

Cooper is now a big time, all-day at school First Grader! I love this pic of him above on the morning of the first day just before we headed out to take him to school- you can just see his excitement brimming over!

These last few weeks, Cooper and Ryder have just really been struggling to get along very well! They just seemed so bored no matter what I tried. I thought that I might actually breath a sigh of relief with the start of school in all honesty... but I was wrong. I still had a tough time. And him being gone all day is such an adjustment! It's all good, of course... sometimes the stuff that is hard is what's good too :)

Ryder is starting Pre-School this next week too, but couldn't be left out :) He'll only be gone for two hours a day, two days a week. Boy have I been glad these last week that he won't be gone more than that!

He said to me a couple days ago, "Mom, you're my best pal." Melted, totally melted :)

This is gonna sound goofy, but honestly, having my kids in school kinda makes me feel a little more... whats the word... legitimate as a Mom. Stuff like packing a lunch in the morning and pulling through the drop-off line makes me feel like I'm a real Mom or something. I know, I know, I'm weird! :P Eventually it'll be bigger things that'll make me feel that way I suppose :)

Love these boys!
So proud of them and grateful for everyone involved in making their school days positive!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It's Not Over Yet... Kinda

Does Summer pretty well end with Labor Day for your family?
In some ways, it kinda feels like it around here...
but then there's the stubborn side of me that just flat refuses!
Fill the blow-up pool back up again, baby! We are NOT conceding yet!

I realize I sure haven't shared as much of our most recent summer goings on as I'd have liked... I don't think the summer will ever come to a close that I won't be melancholy about it and think I could've gotten more into these few months...

Yes, yes, I do tend to take about ten pictures when one or two would suffice :P My phone kinda spit this animation out on its own and it cracks me up!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Perfect Road Trip Gift and Printable Tag

This last week some great people from our ward moved their family to another state. These were people we admired and that had been so friendly to us! We really wanted to be able to go visit them before they left and let them know they were valued in our lives :)

Of course, I love any chance to give a gift and wanted to be able to give them a token to say goodbye :) I knew their move would involve a long road trip to get to their new home state and thought a "Road Ready Kit" would be perfect! What do you give to someone that's moving?!? I didn't want to just be adding to another box to pack, ya know :) 


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