Saturday, April 19, 2014

Clayton's 6th Birthday

6!!!  What, how can we be old enough to have a 6 year old.  My how time flies.  Clayton is finishing his year as a Kindergarten and we can hardly believe it.  It has been absolutely amazing to see the transformation this year.  He really loves school (especially hot lunch).  He is reading and writing, really enjoys math and Spanish!  He is a great big brother too.  Isla lights up when he gets home from school and although they have their moments like any brother and sister, he and Maddie are still great playmates.  He is a super sweet kid.  He can't wait for the summer to play t-ball, swim, golf and play tennis.  He is really into the Box Car Children books right now and we have made it to book 10 already!

Clayton wanted a Lego super hero party.  Note to self, it is not so easy to have a theme that no one makes party supplies for.  Thanks to Etsy and some creativity we pulled it off!  He had some great friends come and we had a super nice day for the party.  It was almost 80 degrees and the kids all had a blast running around outside.  

We love you to the moon and back buddy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Madeline's 4th Birthday!

Wow, April is a blur every year.  My advise when planning your 2nd or 3rd child don't have them 5 days apart from your first child  :)  I also feel the birthday pressure since my mom did a FANTASTIC job making sure we felt special every year on our big day.  But really, it was a TON of fun. (Also make sure you have fantastic friends who are willing to come to your house for parties 2 weekends in a row)

Madeline decided she wanted a Barbie Baking Party!  We decorated cupcakes, made chocolate chip cookies and played!  I think everyone had fun.  I found a recipe for cookie dough without eggs so a highlight was eating the cookie dough!  :)

I can't begin to imagine that Madeline is 4!  She is so grown up, yet still my baby girl.  She is mommy's little helper now that Clayton is at school everyday.  She takes awesome care of her little sister, playing with her, singing to her and making sure she doesn't get into trouble.  She loves school, and is sharp as a tack.  She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to tell it like it is.  (Hum, wonder where she gets that)  She is also an outdoorsy little girl.  Justin is sure she will be his hunting partner!  She can't wait to get the garden in again this spring.  Her favorite color this year is pink, if you can't tell by the pics below.  :)

Madeline we love you more than you can imagine!!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Break

Wow, I can't believe how fast this school year is flying.  Maddie only has about 6-7 weeks left.  We are just finishing the kids Spring break and we sure packed it in.  So here is a quick list of the highlights.
  • Awesome trip to Mimi and Papa's including
    • Visits with Great Mimi and Great Papa
    • Time with Super Aunt Barb!!!  (Clayton reminded me we had a SLUMBER PARTY with her!)
    • Pizza, Candy Store and Bakery
    • Swimming
    • Coffee at the Inn (Ok, so that is always enjoyable for me)
    • Ping pong, Air hockey and fun at the owner's club
  • Trip to Springfield to go to Ergadoozy with Aunt Shannon and cousins.  Kids loved this place.
  • Train Ride and Breakfast with Daddy
  • Early Birthday fun with Grandma and Grandpa
  • We can't forget our last day of vacation brought WARM WEATHER!!  The kids were outside from 9am to 3pm only coming in for some bathroom breaks.  We are so excited about being outside more.
So, on a side note, Tuesday is April 1 and I am not ready!  April is Birthday extravaganza.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


It hit 60 degrees here yesterday and today.  HOLY COW, I don't think we have seen that temp for over 4 months and it felt sooooooo good.  We got out on walks, jumped in puddles, rode bikes, climbed the still big snow piles from our total of 55+ inches of snow this winter and just ran around.  Maddie rode her big girl Minnie bike for the first time and she loved it.  I think she is already in a bicycle gang.  The only downside was we had to stay on the sidewalk or road.  I think our yard will be a swamp until August.  Oh well, it has been fun and now it will snow maybe 6 inches.  Looking on the bright side, it will melt by the end of the week and I know warm weather is coming!  Bring on the flip flops!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Too many Toys

So we have hit the toy limit, I don't think I will let anymore into the house.  :)  We got out a few old ones for Isla and she had a blast.  I know I will be sad some day when all these toys are gone, but I also know we have ENOUGH!  :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

We are busting out!

It's coming, Spring is coming.  I have watched the Weather App and it is up to 56 for Monday!!!  We are outside people.  I know we will be outside playing, riding bikes, riding scooters, picnics, play dates, oh and so much more once things warm up.  Daddy did a good job on the sidewalks so there was a small clear run from our house to the corner yesterday.  Maddie took advantage to give her new scooter its first ride!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

25 and Sunny Never Felt so Good!

It has been a long winter!  "The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway!" Yes we are addicted to Frozen, but we are ready to "Let it Go!".  I am dreaming of flip flops and the pool.  Maddie, Keely and I did get out today while Isla was napping and it felt good! The sun was out and it felt warmer than 25 degrees.  Maddie was excited to find an icicle and Keely loved playing ball.  Isla and I played doll house inside while Maddie was at school.  She is so cute and loves playing with it!

Monday, March 3, 2014

"Baby Cage"

My kids call this the "baby cage".  I call it AWESOME!  My Aunt Jane made this for us when Maddie was little.  It is tons of fun.  It is the cardboard that fabric at a fabric store is wrapped around (I am sure there is a technical name) and she and my cousin just put elastic through at the top and bottom of each one to connect them all.  It is fantastic because you can make it into any shape you want, it folds up and doesn't take up much room and the older kids love to color, write, etc on it.  With Isla on the move it is great to keep her contained or keep her away from stuff.  You can get the cardboard for free from the fabric stores, so cheap and GREAT fun!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

8 Months!

How is it even possible that the tiny baby that I brought home is 8 months old today?  Isla is amazing us everyday with her fast growth!!!  Here is a snapshot of Isla:
  • She would live in the bath if she could.
  • She thinks her big brother and sister are the best thing ever.  (However we did have our first sister fight!  Isla was not pleased that Madeline didn't want her playing with some of her toys)
  • I don't think C or M were nearly as ticklish as Isla is.  She also has the best laugh, it is a full on belly laugh.
  • She loves to eat, she even loves the gross mixed veggies.  She really loves to be able to pick up her food so I think she will be moving to that sooner than C and M did.  Keely is loving this stage and Isla occasionally gets the big slobbery tongue bath.
  • She is crawling slowly, and loves to stand up at the couch, her crib, or anywhere else it is possible.
  • Not shocking, but EVERYTHING goes in her mouth.  UGH, I am on constant surveillance mode to make sure legos, etc are not on the floor.
  • She says dadadadada all the time and if you ask where he is she starts looking for him.  She has a huge smile on her face when he walks in the door each night.
I could go on for a long time.  She is such a sweet baby and very easy going.  She gets toted around a lot to brother and sister's activities so she is a saint for putting up with the car seat and car rides.  WE LOVE HER SOOOOO MUCH!  HAPPY 8 MONTH BIRTHDAY SWEET GIRL!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Water Baby

Isla, LOVES being in the water.  She loves taking a bath, splashing and if she isn't in there she wants to be watching.  Big girl is loving standing at the couch and bath tub.  She doesn't last long, but I just can't believe we are at this stage already.  TOO FAST.  She will be 8 months this week!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Maddie isn't too much of a girly girl.  She hates if I mess with her hair and doesn't care too much what she wears other than she usually has a color preference.  Her favorite color most of last year was blue, she is on pink and light purple now.  This is probably a good thing since I don't take a lot of time on my hair or makeup either.  :)  That being said, Anna Banana and Uncle David got her boots and scarves for Christmas and she LOVES them.  She wears her boots every day.  Note to self, I am going to have to find some spring boots and then cute sandals for her or she may be sweating in these in May.  :)  

Maddie's Modeling!  :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Don't Judge, it's a Blast!

(Bummer the Video wouldn't work)
I wanted to do this with cardboard, another Pinterest idea.  This was much easier though since I already had a twin mattress and two baby mattresses.  The kids love it and it is burning energy on another stay inside day!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Table Hammock

So I saw this idea somewhere, maybe Pinterest?  It is a table hammock made with a sheet and just tied.  It was a HUGE hit!  Good thing we have a kitchen island and a dining room because I may have lost my kitchen table.  :)  I love how it is the simple and cheap thing the kids love.  I have been trying to really remember that lately.  I got Maddie a Barbie puzzle from the Dollar Tree for Valentines Day and she loved it.  I have to say they are a great place for cheap stuff like that!
(I do recommend removing everything from the table.  I did that shortly after taking the picture.)
I am working on another super fun idea I hope to share next week!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Madeline's Valentines Day Party

Madeline had her school Valentines Day Party today.  It is always so fun to help with these and I am very fortunate to be able to go.  The kids are always excited when I am there and it makes all the work/effort completely worth it.  We had fun having cupcakes, decorating hearts with cut out paint chips (great idea and CHEAP) and we also played some Valentines Day BINGO.  It was so cute to watch her go through her Valentines when she got home with Clayton.  She kept all the candy, expect smarties that she doesn't like.  She gave those and the Ninja Turtle cards to Clayton.  :)  We had a great afternoon building a lego helicopter, picking up the basement and playing super heroes.  Clayton (aka Batman)  Maddie (aka Batgirl) Isla (aka Wonder Woman) Mommy (Cat Girl) Daddy (The Joker)  That was according to the kids!  HA

Honey Spiced Glazed Chicken

Justin helped me out on this recipe.  I think if he did it again he would want to cook the meat on the grill.  I don't think the broiler was hard, he just is more comfortable with the grill.  He also said it would be good on wings.

1 package boneless skinless chicken thighs (you should get about 8 thighs per package)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1. Mix spices together and set aside.
2. Mix honey and cider vinegar and set aside.
3. Un-tuck chicken thighs so they are flat. Cover both sides in seasoning, set flat onto sheet pan. When all chicken as been seasoned put under broiler* (I put mine on low just so I don’t worry about burning the chicken)
4. Cook for 5-7 minutes on one side and flip. Cook for a 5-7 minutes on other side. Flip again and then baste the chicken in honey/cider mixture. Be sure to really get the chicken covered. Add to oven again and let it cook under the broiler for a few minutes until the honey starts to thicken up and glaze. It may smoke a little but this is completely normal.
5. Take chicken out of oven and let rest for a few minutes before devouring. You don’t want to burn your mouth with all that hot honey glaze!