Saturday, June 29, 2013

Playhouse Construction

A beautiful day in Austin has arrived, and we had some very special people come down to help us with our playhouse.  If you remember from a previous post Click Here when our friend Garrett Jensen came over and started building our playhouse, we were waiting for summer to begin so we could work on it some more :)  This is not a one day project!  In fact, it is a lot more complex than a single person job :)

My parents came down to help and my Godmother, Debbie and her very talented husband, Mike came down for the day.  They arrived about 9:45/10:00 AM and everyone was out the door by 9:00 PM.  That is one full day of work :)  But more appreciated than they will ever know :)

 They buys were busy all day working, measuring, marking, cutting, lifting, moving, nailing, drilling, etc...  100% NO INJURIES :)

Us girls hung out on the deck all day chasing kids around.  Now I think our job was just as difficult as the guy's :)

Getting the roof up :)

Check it out - I helped!  This side never would have gone up if it weren't for me :)  Hehe

Look there I am again - poking my head out one of our windows!

My man hard at work - learning and loving every minute :)  

Kids spent the entire day outside - aside from the boy's 2 naps and Callie's 1 hour of quiet time in her room!  All meals were outside and they ran around the backyard all day, played with the neighbor kids and swam in the pool :)  She cuddled up on Debbie and fell right asleep!  Debbie told me she wanted to keep calling Callie, Cori!  She said that Callie reminds her so much of me when I was her age that she keeps thinking it is me :)  Which rocks, because I think Callie is an incredible little girl with a HUGE imagination and vocabulary :)

All done for today!  Walls are up, roof is ready for plywood and shingles!

Back view :)

Other back/side view looking back towards our deck :)

My Princess all snuggled up on Debbie :)

Thank you to everyone who helped!  Our kids are going to LOVE having this great place to play and grow!  We have some pretty amazing people in our lives!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Family Painting Night :)

Josh and I decided that we wanted to enjoy our children to the fullest this summer, so we are trying to do so many fun, educational and memorable activities with them :)  This morning was Josh's day to sleep in, so I got the kids dressed, fed and ready for a fun "environmental walk".  Callie walked holding her baggie and I pulled the boys in their wagon (we use this thing so often - great Christmas present mom & dad!).  I, of course, was drinking my iced coffee that I make every morning from my Keurig :)

Callie was on a mission to find a lot of different "nature" items that fit inside her bag.  When we got home, we filled a shoe box lid full of glue and then she put the items in the glue.  We added glitter and sparkle!  We've been waiting all day for it to dry, so tomorrow I think we will be ready to hang it up on the wall :)

We played in chalk - Callie drew her first "rainbow!"  I was so proud.  Carter then crawled through it and even ate some chalk - seriously these kids eat EVERYTHING!

Shortly after, we caught the boys doing two things they do best.  1. Attacking each other and wrestling!  and 2. playing in the bathroom together that we accidentally left open.  I swear -they hear that door open and BAM - they are in there and the toilet paper is off the roll!  This time, Collin came running out waving a long piece while Carter stayed back unrolling more...I'm too anal to roll it back up, so all of it is wasted.  Once it touches the floor it's GROSS to me!

We've also been taking advantage of the Free Lunch Program our district offers for all children ages 1-18.  We go to Southgate Elementary since it is so close!  They have a hot lunch meal and 4 different sandwiches for the kids to choose from.  Fruit and veggies are offered as well as milk and a snack!  Seriously an incredible deal!  Josh and I just eat when we get home!

Callie with her "God Sister" Ava :)

Callie with her friends, Natalie and Aubrey

Callie's FIRST "Big Girl" School Lunch

Callie has been moving OUT of nap time - which she should as she won't be taking them next year when she starts preschool, so now is the best time as any!  But we started "quiet time" today.  She has to stay in her room for 1 hour.  She can read books on her bed, play games, do puzzles, etc...but she has to be quiet and in her room.  The only way she can leave is if she has to go potty!  So far - so good!  We've also started new incentives for Callie.  If she has successful quiet times, she can put a sticker on her chart.  After X number of days she earns a new toy (ones I bought on Clearance from the Disney Store)!  For her dinner time one, she's working towards Tinkerbell mini figurines (if you know Callie you know what toys I'm talking about...she has a million of these!)  She has to try 3 bites of a new food (3 different times), eat all of her vegetables (she's not as fond of anything other than peas and corn), and finish her meal 3 times.  So she has to receive 9 stickers...when she does, she'll receive her toy :)  She is totally motivated to eat and try new things!  LOVING THIS Incentive Program we started with her!  After she is used to how it works, we're going to add more boxes to make it last longer before she earns her reward.  We had to start easy so she understood and was excited about it.  We also let her "see" her toys as often as she wants so she remembers what she is working towards!

We wanted to do something fun tonight, and Josh came up with a great idea - Family Painting night!  So we ran to Joann Fabrics and picked up a bunch of canvas's!  Callie picked out the one she wanted and some really fun paints!  While we were there, I picked up a bunch of rainy day crafts that were super cheap!

Something I have learned over the years from paining so much with Callie:
1. Put a cheap $1.00 table cloth down (especially if you have more than one child paining-with Callie I just used newspaper)
2. Ice Cream bucket lids work GREAT for putting paint on them.  You aren't wasting paper plates and you can reuse them - we're going Green with our painting!
3. Different paint brushes for different colors - we did this only with her glitter paint tonight.  4 colors = 4 paint brushes.  This helps paint mixing!
4. Paint on bath nights!
5. Write names and dates on the bottom FIRST - even write the event.  Tonight I wrote "Family Painting Night", names & dates!
6. Use nontoxic paint - the boys ate it!
7. We put Callie in a paint shirt (one of my old shirts) and just reuse that EVERY time & the boys paint naked :)  When they are older, they will wear paint shirts too!
8. For the boys - instead of using the ice cream bucket lids - I had forgotten at this age - just put the paint right on the canvas.  Collin got the idea to use the paint brush the correct way, but Carter was more interested in spreading the paint around.  I had forgotten this lesson!

Painting with cars is SO MUCH FUN!  That and they wash off really easy and make really cool tracks on our art work :)

Adding a touch of glitter paint to her picture - adds a little something don't you think!

Happy painting everyone :)  Now we have awesome artwork to keep FOREVER!  Plus, canvas's are VERY cheap and keep forever!  I love having their artwork displayed in our house :)

A couple other fun things we've done:
Baked cookies and given some friends mini baggies full!

(don't worry, this beater did NOT go back in the bowl!)

School work every day - Callie works in her preschool workbook while the boys are read to, work on our touch and feel flashcards and play with books!  They really enjoy puzzles right now too!  Taking out the pieces and eating them - oh and throwing them all over!  Never putting them back together :)

Check out the really good "C's" she wrote :)  She's doing a really good job hearing beginning sounds in some words too!  "B-B-Butterfly"  

And this picture, just because I love it!  Callie fell asleep with a sucker in her mouth :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

SURPRISE! Heather turned 40!!!!

My sister Heather turned 40 - that's right....40!  What an incredible surprise party Heidi put on for her :)  We arrived with plenty of time to spare!  Enjoy the photo story of Heather's 40th Birthday!

Heather, you may be 40, 10 years older than me, and closer to 50 than I am!  But I love you very much :)  I am so happy that we were able to help celebrate your big day with you :)

Aunty Colleen instantly started cuddling with Collin :)  and taking self pictures :)

We're not crazy, but we did bring our baby gate!  It is so helpful and we ALWAYS know where the boys are!  You are not allowed to judge us unless you have multiples :) 

Callie kept a lookout for Heather :)  She was peaking through the fence and telling us all to be quiet!

Carter was rescued from jail by Gramma!  He was very comfortable in her lap and happy to play with my water bottle!

Heather was running a little behind, so I took Callie and Trygg to the park across the street!

My baby girl isn't a baby anymore :(  She's mastering all of the obstacles at the park...I'm so proud of her!  And she didn't fall into the huge puddles of water :)

Auntie Colleen came to the park to play :)

Playing in Auntie Heidi's photo booth!

I love her!

Ah - a dinosaur!

Love you mom :)

Yes - be afraid, be very afraid :)

We got the word - Heather was just pulling up :)  So here we are - waiting in suspense :)  I love when they all yelled at me to sit down when they had JUST pulled into the driveway :)  She still had to get out of the car people!

Head cut off :)

Heather with her cane :)

Collin LOVES my dad...seriously LOVES him!  They look alike and act alike :)

Snuggles for Grampa :)

Callie found Arial's Sea Shell bra and a grass skirt in Auntie Heidi's drawer photo booth props box!

She was wearing this the entire party and even put on a show for everyone :)  She sang and danced for us!

Kisses for Prince Eric :)

Collin snuggling on my dad again :)

Grampa playing with Collin - sharing his hat!

Looks like Collin hit him with a leaf!

Carter latched onto his cousin Claire right away!

Collin walking with Auntie Heather's walking stick

The boys trying to share! 

Carter LOVED playing with these balls!  He was so content just sitting in the shade playing with these!  

Callie LOVED the chocolate covered strawberries :)

Kids hitting the pinata :)

Callie...just being her dramatic self :)

Cousin Love :)

Like he isn't wound up enough - Auntie Heather shared her birthday cake with Collin!  He did anything and everything she told him to.  She said sit, he sat.  She said open, he opened!

We brought Carter into the photo area!  He was loving up on this toy sucker!

Seriously - ADORABLE picture!  He looks like a little explorer here...with a giant sucker :)

Hey look - they're together again!

Grampa insisted on snuggling them both!  A little more difficult now that they are getting bigger!

What a fun day it was :)  We were so happy to celebrate Heather's birthday!  We love you girl!