Cleaning and scrubbing will wait ’till tomorrow, but children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs! Dust go to sleep! I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep. – Ruth Hamilton

Friday, December 30, 2011

Holidays with the Family: As It Should Be

This year Christmas was so special and fun.

We hosted Chrismas Eve at our house after church and both sets of parents came to join us.  I made Lasagna for the first time-usually we have a huge sea food buffet, but since it was a small group we just had crab legs.  Our two kiddos lasted for awhile, but they were happy to go to bed and we enjoyed a nice quite dinner.

Before dinner Avery and Mack handed out one of our handmade gifts-the signs.  They were a hit!

Every other year we get to have Christmas morning at our house.  It was fun to see them come down in the morning to thier gifts.  Of course the first thing they see is Avery's Bitty Baby-a little crying did happen until Mack found his gifts

We had a fun slow morning with the kids.  Then I made eggs benedict-YUM!

In the afternoon, we headed to Mark's parent's house for another Christmas!

They received a lot of great, thoughtful gifts!  We are so thankful for all of our family!

They all had fun together and we kept reminding ourselves that next year we will be adding two more babies to this crew!
Mack had some words and maybe some physical actions for this penguin!
This was an ice cream truck that is still giving them thrills.

It took a few days to recover from all our action, but it was worth it to be with family.

New Years Activity

Today was a day I was glad I had an activity!  They are a bit crabby and I am especially crabby!
 First we decorated paper plates...

Filled them with beans and stabled them together!  TaDa!  A New Years Shaker!
Happy New Years Everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

One Last Thing...

It's Christmas Eve and we have been busy!  It is nearly noon and no one has dressed:)  What a great morning-we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Below is our last big project:

I found wood, clothes pins and string at Hobby Lobby.

Avery and I painted the clothes pins silver-she loved painting them so it turned into a learning experience with colors.  She continued to paint some for herself which we will use for fine motor skills later.
Then we painted the wood black.
The tricky part was painting over the black, so Mark went to a friends and had these cool letters made.
On the back we attached hangers...
and the final project-the string is hot glued on the back!  This way both grandparents can have one to hang pictures on.

We can't wait for them to open all their special gifts!  Below are the pot holders wrapped...didn't the wrapping turn out cool?!?  This has been a new experience for Mark and I and I think he has really enjoyed figuring out how to hand make everything.  Now I just need to keep finding new ideas for future birthdays and holidays!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Do You Have a Lot of Wine Corks?

Once again we got to re-visit our trip to Italy!  My family saves a lot of wine corks and at one time my sister-in-law, Heidi, and I made things such as cork boards with them.  We had always wanted to make trivets as well so when I saw all of our corks from our trip I snatched them up with the intentions of making something.  Through Pinterest (which has so many ideas for corks) I found the idea of coasters.  Our problem was figuring out how to make them flat enough-that's when my very handy husband stepped in!  He has a band saw and cut them all in half...
I was going to hot glue them together and then put some felt on the bottom, but again Mark found some wood that he could cut into even squares.  Then he hot glues felt on the bottom.

At this point this was his project...he was able to make sure they were centered by drawing an even line down the middle.

He created a variety of patterns and made them look amazing.  There were nine total-one being our mess up so my parents will get 8 wine cork coasters to remind them of our wonderful trip!

I was impressed with the amount of corks that were collected over a two week vacation.  We had a lot of the corks below because this wine was from the hardware store at the bottom of our mountain.  You would take your jug down there and have them filled and corked-it was an experience!
We know this will be a meaningful gift for the holidays (we have asked both sets of parents to not look at this blog until after the holidays).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mack and His Mack Truck

It's Love!
What a perfect gift!

My Singing Children

Throughout my life music has been very important-I always found songs that would make me happy or remind me of important events and people in my life.  It is a daily activity with my kids-they have learned to enjoy their own music and have started having dance parties wherever they are.  It is cute how they dance together and how it has carried over to multiple parts of our day.  Music is a great way to express feelings and I am glad they have found the joy of it as well-I just wish we had more variety so it wasn't the SAME CD everyday:)

I need to really get them in action, but this video was cute to me because of the microphone!  Their moves have improved since this was taken...

We still have a rule in the kid music.  Some might find this mean, but I certainly didn't have kid music in the car and in turn, have an apprieciation for all kinds of music.  They don't even ask for it...yet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas with the Crittendens

We got to kick off our Christmas week by heading to St. Louis for the weekend to visit my family. This was a Christmas packed weekend! We came on Thursday night-we drove in just in time for baths and dinner.  Then, Friday we hung out at my parents house until Mark arrived in the afternoon.  About 6 years ago we started to go to the zoo around this time of year to enjoy the Christmas lights-St. Louis has the second biggest zoo and it is FREE to the public.  This was the first year we got to bring our own kids and it was spectacular.  They light up the zoo and some of the animals are out-the penguins were a big hit with Avery.  Unfortunately it was freezing, but Avery and Mack didn't seem to mind...

A random person offered to take our picture so Avery and Mack were kind of cut out, but Mack also has his penguin from the penguin house in front of him.
Saturday we went to visit Santa and apparently word had gotten out about the Santa we go to visit because the line was about 2 hours-he is the best!  Luckily for us Papa waited in line and the kids did great.  That is until we arrived at Santa.  Mack was okay, but Avery freaked out and screamed-then Mack started crying as well.  It leaves us with some great pictures-Avery looks at them and mimics herself crying!  That night my parents watched our kids so Mark and I got a date night for our anniversary.  It was wonderful and had been a while since we got to go out in the evening.  We went to dinner and then to the Chase Park Plaza for a movie-that place is really fun and neat.  Then we drove around the city looking at lights!  I am blessed to have such an amazing husband that makes me so happy!
Sunday morning we woke up and created a huge brunch!  My brother and sister-in-law are heading to her parents this year for Christmas so this was our time with them.  We all exchanged gifts and were overwhelmed with the giving this year!
This bike was given to Avery and Mack from my brother and sister-in-law-it's so cool because there are no peddles on it.
Elmo CD player...

and the big gift Mark has been waiting for-a Mack truck for Mack!

Videos of them riding this awesome gift will come later!  What a fun way to kick off our Christmas week!