Friday, August 31, 2012

Meet the Teacher

My kids are still in Preschool and not Elementary.  The Teachers do a tremendous amount for them...especially Rustin who is just shy of 3.  In an effort to get the boys excited about going back to school, I asked them to help me put something together that the Teachers could use in their classrooms this year.

We decided on Dry Erase boards.  They were fairly easy to assemble and don't cost a fortune either.

I found the boards at Target for $6.  I found the package of pens and magnets at Michaels for $7 total. I was able to divide the pens and magnets between the two boards I was making.  That brought the the total cost of each board to $10.   I printed a little tag with a "catchy" saying that I can't take credit for...I saw it on a Pin board during one of my Pinterest surfing nights.  I attached the tag with some tulle and ribbon that I had in my craft closet.

Here is a copy of the tag that I made.  It is a JPG file that you can cut out with scissors or a paper cutter. 

Use a hole punch to make a hole in the tag that you can feed all of your ribbons through.

 I have a cutting machine and used it to cut vinyl letters for the initials of our school (First Faith Preschool and Kindergarten).  I added this to the bottom corner of the board as an extra touch, but it is obviously not necessary.

Most kids have started school, but this can always be used during Teacher Appreciation Week.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mud Pies

For the past few weeks, Rustin has been sneaking out the back door to the wooden playhouse.  Usually I'll stick my head out the back door, find him playing contently and go on about my business.  Yesterday evening, I decided to go out and sneak a peek at what keeps him so happy out there.

The answer... Mud-pies.  Who would've known that he has built his own little assembly line inside of the playhouse.

He told me it was his Cake Store.  I ordered a slice of chocolate, but he responded with "I'm sorry, Ma'am.  We don't have chocolate".  Apparently they just sell Vanilla at his store.

 I sat and watched as he went from the buckets of sand he had hauled in from the sandbox, to his muddy rain water sinks.  He molded the mud in his hands into perfect little mounds and then carried them over to a serving area.  He hummed a little tune the entire time.  My throat swelled up a little bit and my eyes filled with tears.  How could we have missed this production? He had obviously been building it for weeks.

My answer was right in front of me.   God's way of tapping me on the shoulder...reminding me to pay attention.  Similar to Rustin's Mud Pies,  that have been in the works for longer than I realized, He is always working in our lives.  We just have to slow down and open our eyes and ears to experience all of it's goodness. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dentist Rewards

These two went to the Dentist this week and I bribed them with a toy for good behavior.  
They picked the Play-Doh Dr. Drill -N- Fill playset. 
Woody was their patient.
I'm pretty sure there will be another block of appointments tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bedtime Stories

He was supposed to be sleeping, but instead I found him reading Toy Story 3 to his newest Woody doll.

 He didn't know I was listening.  I overheard him asking Woody if he was ready for Cowboy Camp.

 I'm pretty sure Rustin loves you just as much as Andy did.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oreos and Milk

Oreos and Milk.  It's what this boy is made of.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Riding in the Car

Riding in the car on Friday, Ryder asked, "Mom, how do I get a message to God?".

I responded with, "You say a prayer, Ryder.".

Immediately, I hear him say from the back of the car, "Father, Son, Holy Spirit.  Dear God, its Me Ryder.  Could you please make the doughnut shop be open after lunch? Amen.".

I love knowing that he already turns to God...even if it's for the doughnut shop.

UPDATE: This morning he woke up with a serious question regarding our previous conversation on getting messages to God.  It went something like this:

Ryder:  "Mom...where does God and Jesus put your message after they read it?"
Me:  "They keep your words in their heart."
Ryder:  "They eat our messages??".

In other conversations this is just in:  Ryder:  "Mom...getting married to a girl is disgusting.  Right?".  Me:  "You're right, think that as long as you want."

I love this boy more than his brother loves skittles...and that is a A LOT of loving!

Friday, August 24, 2012

My almost 5-year Old....

In his eyes, yesterday was the best day of his life.  He'd been asking about it for weeks.  He woke up and said, "Do you know what today is, Mom?...It's my Hawaiian Falls birthday party!!!".
He squealed, he jumped, he checked the clock and asked me no less than 15 times if it was time to get in the car.

He doesn't turn 5 for another month, but for his 5th birthday there was nothing he wanted more than to spend the day at the water-park with his cousins and preschool friends.  I told him we'd have to celebrate a little early, since the park is closed by his birthday at the end of September.  I'm pretty sure he thought I was the best Mom in the world and even though I fall short of that on so many levels, it feels good to know that he sees our love.  However it can shine through, let it shine.

We packed a cooler and loaded down the wagon with all of his favorite snacks.

He was so excited that everyone came for his special day. He didn't stop for a minute. Not even for a cupcake or gumballs.  He was off at the water-slides with his Grandma, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.

 I watched him walk off of the slide, dragging his mat behind him.  Nobody had to tell him what to do or rush him out of the way of others.  It was like a splash of cold water to my face.  He's growing up.  The baby I used to hold, the toddler that used to flush toys down the toilet, the preschooler who would go to school with only one shoe on because he still didn't have enough words to tell his Mom she forgot the other one, the whole reason that I ever started this blog over four years growing up.

Rustin and some of the girls hung out with me in the shade after lunch.  I think that was Rustin's 3rd cupcake of the day courtesy of Amy's Cakery.  The gumballs are courtesy of the Polka-Dot-Market.

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to spend the day with us yesterday.  Words can not describe the fun he had and how excited he was that each of you were there!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Two Weeks

The last two weeks are a blur.

We have been to Indiana and back.

Laughed really hard with family we see far less often than we'd like.

Said goodbye to a long, well lived life.  Matt's Grandma Draper passed away with her 5 daughters at her bed.  I don't think I could ask for anything more than that when it is my time to go.

Packed the boys for a week at my parent's and then unpacked them back into our house.

Done lots of laundry.

Saw the Doctor 4x (between Matt and I).  We're old.  When you have to start discussing blood pressure medication...well that says it all.

Got spoiled by some amazing August weather.

Had an end of summer / pre-birthday celebration for my almost 5-year old who has decided to start smiling like this.

Take 1.

Take 2.

Take 3.

 Take 4.  All I can say is Wow.  Oh but how I love him and his silly ways.

And now its late and I'm tired.  Night y'all!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Heaven Shining Down

Early this morning, God welcomed a new angel into His Kingdom.  Matt's Grandma left the earth today...entering into a new and everlasting life.  I didn't have the opportunity to know her very well...but I do remember her laugh, her smile.  All of my prayers to Matt's Mom and her sisters as they grieve the loss of a parent.  A loss I am not ready to experience myself.

In my heart, I know she was smiling down on us this morning.  This is what the sky looked like over our house as I stepped outside in the early hours of the day.  God is so Big.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Conversations in the Car

Rustin:  Mom, can "my" have skittles when we get home?
Me:  Sure, Buddy.  That sounds O.K.
Rustin:  Oh Yahooooo!!!!  "My" will be your friend forever, Mom!

Ryder:  Can we stop at the Donut shop?
Me:  Sure.
Ryder:  Oh, I Know!  How about the one in China?

Rustin:  Mom, why did Ryder puke in the car?
Me:  I don't know, Buddy.  He just did.
Rustin:  Are you disappointed in him?
Me:  No...puking is an accident..its O.K.

Ryder:Why is that car doing that?
Me:  I don't know, Bear.
Ryder:  Tell Me Mom.  Why is that car doing that?
Me:  I don't know, Ryder...why is the sky blue?
Ryder:  Because God made it Blue.

Rustin:  Are we there yet, Mom?
Me:  Nope.
Rustin:  Awwwww Nuts!

Rustin:  I need to go potty!
Me:  There is no place to stop.
Rustin:  Yeah, Mom! There is!  In the Grass!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Refrigerator Magnets

My Mom's Birthday was yesterday.  We had given her a gift in May as an early Birthday present, so for her actual Birthday the boys and I made some little home-made gifts.

We started out making a set of Refrigerator Magnets I had seen on Pinterest.  The idea came from this blog:  Ambrosia Girl.  She provides a great tutorial, but I modified my method a little bit.

These are really easy to make.  When you get started,  you'll need to select a few photos that you want to print out small. You will also need:
-Photo Paper
-Card Stock
-Glue Stick
-Magnets (You can find them at a Craft Store or the Craft Aisle at Wal-Mart for under $5)
-Acrylic Clear Spray Finish (optional...this just protects the pictures a little bit)

 I did two different sizes:  1x1 and 2x2.  I used PSE to reduce the size of the picture and then printed them out on 4x6 Photo Paper.  If you have 8.5 x 11 photo paper you could print them all on one page.  I didn't and didn't want to go buy anything else. I used the template on the Ambrosia Girl Blog to get a polaroid effect.  She has full directions if you want the same look. When I was finished, I had something like this:

Next you want to use your glue stick and put glue all over the back of your picture. 

Adhere it to a piece of white card stock like this:

I have a small paper cutter (purchased at Michael's for under $25) that I used to cut each of the photos out after I had glued them to the card stock.  Trim all around the perimeter of your "polaroid" like this:

Once you have your picture cut out, it will be nice and small.  Cut your magnet strips the approximate length of your picture like this:

Next, peel and stick the magnet to the back of your picture like this:

Finally, I sprayed a little of this all over the front of my pictures to protect them.

I ended up with all of these:

I tied them together with some string like this:

And stuck them on top of a jar of chocolate sugar scrub (3 T of Cocoa Powder, 1 T Vanilla, Brown Sugar and Olive oil until you reach the right consistency).  The magnets work well for this since the jar has a metal lid!  It looked like this:

I made a few extra and put them on our fridge.  I love them! 

Hope you do some for your fridge..easy and cheap!