Nov 12, 2011

Nature's Confetti

There was clearly cause to celebrate in the universe today

The wind was whipping wildly

leaves were breaking free

sunlight glinted metallic off their wet whirling twirling bodies

and they floated through the air

like natures confetti

what a sight to see

Nov 2, 2011

Fun Fall Crafts

Oh my, haven't we been having fun crafting! Ella asks everyday, "Can I have a craft mommy?" "Let's do a craft!" and then during her playtime she plays that she's making crafts. Between learning time, library story times and our other mornings, we do a craft pretty much every day. I'm so glad that we have these times together and I'm so glad that she loves being creative.
If you don't craft with your children, I beg of you, please do! There are SO many fun and inexpensive crafts to do all year long. It gets rid of boredom, opens up creativity, builds their mind and motor skills and creates lasting memories!
Here's what we've been up to!

The Thankful Tree! We tromped through the woods and found branches to make our thankful tree. Ella adores the tree and the whole process more than I had every imagined. At dinner time we each say something we're thankful for. Then I write them down on construction paper leaves and we hang them from the tree with green yarn. We do it at lunch with her little friend that I watch two days a week as well. It's such a great way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and it's so festive looking too! Just imagine how beautiful it will look at the end of November!? "Beds," leave it to our littles to remind us to be thankful for the things we often take for granted. "Walks in the woods to see the deer tracks."Oh how delighted she was to find fresh deer prints, deer lays and deer poop in the snow in the trail just behind our house. By five she'll be an expert tracker!Window Leaves! Cut leaf shapes out of cardstock. Tape to window with painters tape. Dip sponges in tempura paint and stamp away. Who ever would have thought I'd let my kiddo paint my windows. But it is so fun and so festive! She loves peeking out the leaf holes!

Leaf Garland! On our little tromp through the woods we also picked up any leaves we liked the looks of. We brought them and and dried and pressed them between paper towels. Then I laminated them with contact paper and punched a hole in each. I grabbed my crochet hook and whipped out a chain made of green yarn and strung up this garland!Ella had a slightly different idea...look at this "mobile for baby" she came up with all on her own! It now rests over baby's crib!
Happy crafting to you!

Nov 1, 2011

Life Lesson: Always check your church bulletin before chucking it.

The great thing about following Dave Ramsey's plan is that we're getting out of debt. The great thing about setting a budget, taking cash out each paycheck and ONLY paying in cash is that you really CAN'T go over budget!

The bad things about only paying in cash is that if you accidently happen to throw your "gas money"envelope containing $110 into the're pretty much out of luck.

Yes, this may sound like a classic Jason move...but I have to was me. I've learned some valuable lessons here. ALWAYS check inside your church bulletin before chucking it. AND always recycle, because if you throw the church bulletin (also containing the gas money enevelope because the envelope was in my purse and my church bulletin was in my purse and apparantly the two got tangled together whilst jostling about in my purse) into the trash with nasty chicken trimmings in it and then your hubby takes the trash end up rummaging through really cold, really rancid trash to find your money.


Cutest Monkey Ever

Back in September when our pumpkins were turning orange and we started to talk about carving them on Halloween, my little one announced that she wanted to be Curious George. She's pretty in love with curious george episodes on TV and I love them for her as well. The pictures aren't great because my iPhone doesn't have a flash, but here's the cutest little monkey I've ever seen! Last year we went to trunk or treat at our church. But with 3,000-4,000 people streaming through in a two hour window (yes you read that's a huge event!) it was just too much for Ella. She was tense and afraid and crying. So we changed it up this year. We went over to our friend's house. And it just so happens that our friend's daughter is the same age as Ella and one of Ella's best friends. We pulled the two of them in a wagon around the small loop road and Ella absolutelyADORED it! She usually sings or babbles herself to sleep at night. Last night all we heard on the monitor until she drifted off was, "Trick or treat! Thank-you. Trick or treat! Thank-you...." Then she woke up this morning saying, "I want to go trick or treating with baby." "I want to go to Halloween again!"

A Fall Crock Pot Party in the Snow!

Our friends Megan and Dave threw a fall crock pot party this past Saturday. (I really wish I had pictures, but we were just having to much fun to snap any!) The idea is genius! Everyone brings a warm, toasty crockpot dish. The held it in their barn, strung lights, decked it out with fall decor and threw a few heaters in there in case it was a little chilly....

Well case you don't remember...Saturday, Oct. 29th, is when we got 10 inches of snow! But let me tell you, that made it even better! After filling our bellies, we threw on snow gear, caught fat flakes on our tongues, made snowmen and snow angels, played on the swingset, took a walk in the white wood at night and the bonfire looked brilliant against the crisply fallen background. I cannot use any other word to describe the night. It was magical!

We lost power that night and Sunday morning Jason went up and got Ella. She camp plodding down the stairs, heavy footed as usual, saying "Mommy! Mommy! The power is not in. A tree fell on the power so we can't turn the lights on and we can't flush the toilet!" Oh how I love her!

There's nothing like a good old fashioned power outage to reset a right perspective in my heart. I was so thankful for our woodstove, for cell phones, for a coleman stove by which to heat water for toasty beverages. As I washed up with a bowl full of warm water I thought about how many people in this world don't have running water...ever. We are SO blessed! If you live in America...even if you are are wealthier than much of the world and have so many luxuries...yes luxuries that others do not! Oh what a great way to start of this season of thanksgiving!

First service at church was canceled so we spent a lazy morning by the woodstove (so THANKFUL for that!) drinking hot cocoa and eating oatmeal, and of course...playing in the snow! We headed to church and right when we walked back in the door home, the power came back on!Once again, blessed. Here are some photos of my little snow angel and snowman!

The Kolvoord Petting Zoo

A few weekends ago Ella and made the trip up to my sister's. Ella was a huge fan. Jen and Greg have three chickens, two goats, and a quarterhorse at their house. I'm pretty sure Ella thought it was her very own personal petting zoo. She loved seeing all the animals and pretty much wanted to feed them constantly.

Saturday morning we took a trip with Uncle Greg up to the Maine Jump. Crazy on a Saturday, but really fun and Ella did really well considering how loud it was and how many children were there.

Then after a much needed nap, Ella got to go riding! Over the years she has been pretty afraid of horses. She loves them in theory but when she gets next to one of any size she kind of freaks. But that all turned around this year! First she warmed up with a ride on Janie with Auntie Jen. Jen got Janie when she was 12 maybe? Janie is in her 30's I believe, and totally bombproof. She also does tricks...says please, gives kisses and shakes. She's only 14.3, but to Ella that's pretty big and she did awesome. Then we headed over to a barn where Jen keeps another one of her horses. This also happens to be the farm where I grew up going to summer riding camp, so it was very sweet to have my daughter take her very first solo ride here. Jen tacked up Frosty, and away she went. Seriously, to anyone who knows anything about English riding, just look at her form! Perfect :) She's a natural.
Waving to the camera!And if you're wondering if the trip made a lasting impression....well lets just say, at Ella's instance, I've been building, "Jamies" and "Srosties" out of legos for a week. Notice baby riding Janie in the background.
"Jamie needs a blankie because she wears one when she's cold". True."Jamie and Srosty."