Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Advent Calendar

Today is a perfect day to organize our Advent Calendar.  Most of us are under the weather in one way or another. 
Last year's calendar ended up being mostly a count down because it wasn't very organized and because we moved December 17th.  This year we don't have a refrigerator that will hold magnets, so I have to come up with something new.  I'm still tossing around a couple ideas, but I like the idea of stringing something across the windows in the breakfast nook!
I can't wait.  Hopefully we can keep up with it.  I'm trying to make the activities realistic, so it doesn't make our schedule any more hectic.

I'm most excited about incorporating this idea . . .

The week of Thanksgiving we researched thanksgiving in the Bible: how we should give God thanks in our prayers and in our praise / singing and how we should be thankful in EVERYTHING.  The kids enjoyed the study, and I think they learned quite a bit.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Darling Niece!

We headed to Ohio to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  While we were there, I took a few (and when I say few I mean over 1,000) pictures of my niece and a couple pictures of my sister and brother-in-law for their Christmas card.  It would probably help if I had a better camera or knew more about how to accomplish what I wanted, but I just set my camera on Burst (the setting where you hold the button down and it takes like . . . a 1,000 pics).  We were just winging it, and having a great time watching Bella react to everything.


HaPpY {belated} bIrThDaY to Uncle Josh!

Butterfly's Birthday Lunch

This is yet another post that's been waiting in the wings, half finished.  Thought I'd take a few minutes at lunch to finish it.
We don't do many parties for the kids after their 5th birthday, so we had a couple of Butterfly's friends over for lunch.  She loves the Tangled movie, so we went with that theme for her "cake" and for a craft that afternoon.
Her food choice was a pasta bar.  We had marinara, alfredo and a creamy garlic butter sauce as well as spaghetti, penne and angel hair pasta.  We also had salad and garlic bread per the birthday girl's request.
Nana bought favor bags and her friends took home their craft, a flower stamp, watercolor paints and a picture of Repunzel to paint.
I made Repunzel tower cupcakes.  REALLY glad I decided to make only 6 (for the kids and the cake) and use the rest of the batter to make a layered cake for the adults.  They're cute cupcakes, but it would have taken forever to make a dozen or so of them.
She absolutly loved how the cupcakes turned out!

This was the best I felt like doing after midnight on the layered cake.  I didn't feel like making brown icing for the cobblestones.  You get the picture.

Singing to the birthday girl!

And he wonders how he got icing in his nose!
Not a great picture, but the only one I have of her and her friends from lunch.

The craft was making Pascal from card stock and party blowers.  Other than the birthday girl yawning the entire way through the craft, they kids had a blast!  Pappy & the Knight might say otherwise as they were the target of honking party blowers during their nap.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 18th Birthday People!

I've always thought it was neat when family members have the same birthday.  I even know two siblings with the same birthday -- what are the chances?!?  I guess they did have five kids, so the possibility was higher.  But I digress.

Our precious Princess Butterfly and her Uncle Jon share a birthday.  The more birthdays those two have, the older I feel.  Jon's the baby in our family, and he's nearing 30!  Butterfly is our middle child, and she turns 8 today!

We love them both dearly and want to wish them a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Pictured L to R: Jonathan, Melanie, myself, Stephen
(May 2010)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lil' Birdie

For a couple weeks on and off, I've been tring to capture a picture of the birds that frequent our birdfeed.  I get frustrated when I "just miss" them or when I more closer and they fly away.  This morning I decided to set my camera on Burst hoping to get at least one good picture.  (I'm a little slow when it comes to bright ideas if you can't tell.)
I was so shocked when I looked at the pictures after I downloaded them onto our laptop that I had to make a collage!  Now if only the shade strings weren't in the way . . .

Click on image to make larger.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Firefly's Miniature Golf

We asked Aunt Mel for some ideas for fun activities in Cleveland.  We met her, Uncle Josh and Bella at a local mall for a fun round of glow-in-the-dark miniature golf!

Butterfly (L), Sparkle (Middle), Bud (R Front)
Didn't think about putting them in light-colored clothing.
Knight taking a put while Butterfly fills the time until her next turn.
It was so hard to get good pictures especially when everyone was moving.
Uncle Josh (Center) and Sparkle (R) look ghostly in this one!
The decor was pretty awesome.
Just to prove Bella was with us.

Everyone enjoyed themselves.  Bud got a little bored towards the end and wasn't happy to stay longer for a family picture.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Great Lakes Science Center

Before the Knight starts his new job, we decided to take a couple days away. 
This was our drive into Cleveland Monday morning.  Little did we know how Hurricane Sandy would change the rest of our plans.

Butterfly making the hot air balloon go up!
The special exhibit we saw was all about frogs.  I was going to post the types of frogs, but don't have time.  You'll just have to enjoy the pics.  If you have questions, just comment.  Or better yet!  If you know the names, play a guessing game.

Can you find three frogs?


This frog is alive. Seriously.
These little colorful guys are so adorable . . . but they are DEADLY!  You can die just by touching their skin.  They contain enough poison to kill 20,000 monkeys or 10 humans.  My question: How does someone capture them and get them into the exhibit???




They also have a NASA exhibit . . .

The kids drove this little lunar (?) vehicle around.
The kids enjoyed themselves in this part of the NASA exhibit.  They stacked tubes on this rubber surface then changed the frequency and speed to make them bounce around.

A week or so before we went to the GL Science Center, Butterfly randomly asked me what would happen if you took off your helmet in space.  We shared this with the employee when he asked if we wanted to see what would happen to a balloon and a marshmallow under a vacuum.  He said, "Well, okay. No introduction needed for this expirement then."  Ha! What 7-year old girl thinks of that kind of question?  Apparently, mine.  She's a thinker.

More science center fun . . .

Sparkle helping with gravity experiment

Sparkle made a bubble wall

Butterfly balanced on this skateboard for 99 seconds - the max the machine would allow before going back to 0.

Didn't get to take all the pictures I wanted since my camera battery died.  Really should get another one for back up.  Had to stop at my parents' house and grab the charger.  Good thing Chic-Fil-A have outlets in their seating area or we would have missed pictures of our adventure that afternoon . . . next post, Glow-in-the-Dark Minature Golf!

Birthday Celebration with Uncle Steve

So I started this post at the beginning of October.  It deleted itself.  I almost cried.  I've picked at it a couple times since then, but didn't have time to finish it.  At last, it's finally here . . .

We met up with my family on October 5th for Uncle Steve's family. We'll occassionally meet halfway between where my family lives and Ohio and where we live in Pennsylvania to get a quick visit in when we don't have the availability for everyone to go one way or the other. I was excited for the opportunity to see Uncle Steve, his girlfriend (Anna), my parents, my sister and, of course, my neice!

This year because of Rick's current employment status (or rather unemployment status), we tried to come up with some creative, inexpensive gift ideas.  We settled on a party-in-a-box idea.  Judging from the expression on his face, it was a success!

This is what he saw when he opened the box.  Inside are balloon containing dollar bills.  The recipient is able to enjoy popping the balloons to receive their gift of money.

To make this gift, roll up each bill and place it in the balloons.  We chose colorful balloons, but solid color balloons would allow you to see the money a little more clearly.
An air compressor makes this part of the job much easier (& keeps spit off the money). I'm sure my brother was thankful for that. =)
This was our sad attempt at a card.  In our defense, we were putting it together as we were trying to get out the door and in the car.  The glue nor the double-sided tape would hold the tabs to make some of the balloons 3D.

 Since I don't have time to elaborate, I'll just leave you with a couple more pictures from the evening.