Sunday, January 27, 2013

Coffee Bean Sensory Table

As I was cleaning out the kitchen cabinets this week it dawned on me that using coffee beans in the sensory table might just be a great idea. I have a bunch of expired coffee beans from my Starbucks connected friend. She gave me some when I was looking to fill up 3 big glass containers in my kitchen. The coffee beans were way to expensive for me to buy the tons that I needed and I had some leftover for my little project.

The kids have been having lots of fun! One of the best sensory items we've had in a long time. Adalyn doesn't eat it and the dogs don't eat them either! Two of the big problems we have with the sensory items in the table. They are pretty easy to sweep or vacuum up as well.

I originally only put a few things in the table for them to play with, but as the days have gone by they've added more and more. I'll probably dump it all out in a day or two. The fun wears off after awhile and then it just becomes a mess that isn't fun to clean up any more.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Our New Family Member

Meet our new family member....Guinea, or GP, Hot Potato, Pig or Hamster. He seems to go by a lot of different names these days, but none-the-less he is slowly settling into his new home.

An acquaintance from the Mom's Group I am in posted that she was looking for a new home for their Guinea Pig. They had a puppy in the house that just wasn't getting use to being around Guinea and it was distracting to his training to be a helper dog to her autistic daughter. Plus, GP wasn't getting the attention she felt he needed.

I jumped at the chance to have him. I always pictured getting the kids a "caged" type animal and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Kenny said he wanted nothing to do with this whole thing, but I think he has grown a little fond of her new family member.

The first day was chaos and I quickly wondered what the heck I was thinking. I had attempted to put GP in the living room so that he would be around us more (Guinea Pigs are really social animals). The dogs could not handle this at all and poor GP was just stressed to the max (they are also super sensitive animals).

I finally wised up and put him in Shane's room. We made sure to talk to him sweetly and feed him treats, but he just wanted to hide out in his little house the moment you walked into Shane's room. Around the third day he came to the cage and sniffed my fingers. I was so excited! Over the next few days he got more relaxed and didn't high tail it into his hiding spot as soon as he saw you. I also was finally able to pick him up and cuddle him. Yay! Another success.

The days went on and Shane was able to hold him. We even changed his cage out and gave him some time roaming Shane and Adalyn's bedrooms. The kids were so happy and didn't want to put him back in his cage. GP was ready for a break though. I found him napping after that big adventure.

Now every day when Shane has quiet time Guinea comes out to roam. Today Shane didn't want to be done with quiet time because the Pig and him were cuddling and singing songs together. Stinkin' cute!

Yes, having the extra animal around the house is more work for me. I stress over if he is getting the things he needs to make him a happy and healthy Guinea Pig, but seeing the kids with him and their love for animals and the skills they develop by caring for and living with animals is all worth it in the end.

This was his original you can see Sadie just wants to eat him.
The dogs have gotten a bit more use to him. 
I did find Sadie taking a nap in the middle of Shane's room one day, 
she got tired after standing up staring at him.

Having a little snack. 
GP now lives on Shane's desk in his room.
The kids love to go in there and sit and talk to him.

 Shane and Pig cuddling while watching TV. 

Arli LOVES Guinea. 
Shonda got the privilege of my freak out session on day #1. 
Which pretty much revolved around how she should 
really think about taking GP to their house for his forever home.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

December Rewind {Christmas}

This year it seemed like there was more to do then ever before during the holiday season. Both kids were old enough to enjoy all kinds of Christmas fun {checking out Christmas lights, Snowflake Lane, Lights at the Botanical Garden, Christmas shopping for each other, visiting Santa, baking cookies and taking gifts to the neighbors}.

I was more then happy to have Christmas Eve arrive. We celebrated at our house with my Brother, SIL, Mom and Dad.

 The kids were more then happy to help open your presents for you if you wanted them to or not.

You need a little help, too, right Aunt Becky!?!

What did you get, Uncle Kevin, huh, huh?

Mema needs help for sure!

Christmas Eve we left Santa cookies and milk 
and of course the reindeer got some oats sprinkled out on the lawn.

Christmas morning Shane woke to the Dream Light that Santa left him! 
He was just a little excited.

Yay! Adalyn got a Dream Light, too!

Adalyn says "mine, mine!"

I love Christmas time and I was just as happy to see it come to an end. Now we just need to make it through a few more long cold months....I can't wait for summer!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

December Rewind {Felt Christmas Tree}

These cute little felt Christmas trees were all the rage on pinterest during the holidays. I saw one that a friend made on FB and got extra inspired to make one for our house.

I made the long journey to Joanna's to get felt by the yard. Then spent some time in front of the TV one evening cutting out felt "ornament" shapes. Kenny helped me with the tree shape. We ended up with a very "branchy" tree, but still cute. 

The kids enjoyed it briefly, but mostly it was fun just to take the ornaments off and leave them on the floor. So I spent way to much time putting them back up on the tree during the few weeks it was up.

Not all cute ideas are as fun as I think they will be. Bummer on this one!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

December Rewind {Christmas Trees}

We had a little holiday play date at our house in December where we made these fun ice cream cone Christmas trees. I had never seen these before, but when I saw them on FB I thought they were brilliant!

The older kiddos had a lot of fun making their trees special. 

I was quite proud of how Shane's turned out. 
He put a lot of thought into it.

Just teasin'...we wouldn't eat this awesome lookin' Christmas tree!

The little ones pretty much just wanted to eat the candy. 
Adalyn got a few M&M's on there in between munchin'.

Wanna make your own Christmas trees....

You'll need:
  •  ice cream sugar cones
  • green frosting
  • candy of various sizes and colors 
  • shredded coconut 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

December Rewind {Christmas Performance}

One of Shane's favorite parts of preschool and Christmas is his Christmas Performance. This year was the first year he didn't cry at all! He happily practices his songs over and over again for weeks before the big day.

 Mr. Shane walking up to the stage all smiles.

Getting set in their spots.

Having a cookie or two (gluten free!) after the performance.

Friday, January 18, 2013

December Rewind {CTMH Workshops}

I held my annual Christmas Card Workshop back in late November. This year I had to schedule two workshops back to back to get everyone in that wanted to attend.

For my December workshop we created a little forest of cute paper Christmas trees.

December Rewind {Gift Card Holders}

I was asked to make some gift card holders for someone. I had fun making them and really liked the way they turned out. Of course all products are from Close To My Heart.

I didn't get a shot of the inside, but there is a little spot that you slip the gift card into and then you have room to write a note inside as well.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

December Rewind {Great Wolf Lodge}

We took a weekend trip to Great Wolf Lodge (an indoor water park resort) in December. We surprised the kids that morning that we were going.

Friday we hung out and checked out what the resort had to offer outside of the water. Saturday we hit the water park. Adalyn was timid to the whole thing but still had fun. She got cold fast (even though it was 84 degrees inside) so we spent a lot of time in and out of the hot tub.  Shane had fun but was also his cautious self and wanted to spend the whole time in the hot tub.

Sunday morning we take our last trip to the water park where Shane and I got our courage up and hit the kiddie water slides! Both of us were quite nervous our first ride down, but couldn't wait to do it again....and again....and again. Shane could have done that all day, but we had to hit the showers and head for home.

Saturday night we got to visit with Mr and Mrs Claus. 
As you can see Adalyn wasn't so excited about that.

It was an interesting weekend away. Our first really of this sort with two kids. I think it will just keep getting better from here on out!