Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had as much fun today as my little superheroes did. And if you came home with half as much candy as we did, I'm sure you are wondering what to do with it all. I may or may not be sneaking some now that the girls are in bed. Happy Halloween...

Halloween Pic 1

Halloween Pic 2

Halloween Pic 3

Halloween Pic 5

Halloween Pic 6

Halloween Pic 7

Have I mentioned lately how much I love these silly girls?

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Day to Relax

Today was another great and lazy day. The weather was chilly and we spent the day cozied up around the fire. The great thing about days like this is the time to just be, to learn more about each other and to enjoy. Kinsley spent her day crafting and creating for some very special people. I love the opportunity to craft alongside her and just chat with one another, such a precious moment in a normally loud and busy life.


Crafting 2
I was so surprised by how well she was doing with her writing today. Just yesterday I was lamenting how I wasn't quite sure that she was learning enough with me (typical mama worrying you know?) and today she decides to put it all out there for me. Almost as if she knew I needed the reassurance. And all those extra loops in my name, they are there because "it just looks prettier that way". Of course it does.

Kaitlyn mostly spent her day floating from one comfy spot to the next, still not quite feeling like her normal energetic self but full of cuddles for those around her.

Crafting 3

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Birthday

Today's post was a bit (okay a lot) delayed because I've been cuddling a sick baby all day. Poor thing partied a bit too hard yesterday I suppose. Hoping it doesn't pass on to the rest of us.

(Edit: I managed to recover a few pictures from earlier in the day. Woo! Technology is still not my friend, however.)

Birthday 10

This is the smile I have come to expect from her. I love her face. Love her.

Birthday 8

Birthday 7

Birthday 9

Birthday 6

Birthday 1

Birthday 2

Birthday 3

Birthday 5

Birthday 4

It was a great day filled with family, fun and lots of special treats. And cake. Lots and lots of cake, and ice cream. Probably a little too much cake honestly. Regardless the birthday girl proclaimed it was the happiest she had ever been and the best day ever so I'll let the ridiculous amount of sugar slide.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goodbye Three

Ballerina Kinsley

I just put this little girl to bed for the last time as a 3 year old. Tomorrow when we wake up she'll be 4 and very excited about it. We have a low key day planned with all her favorite foods and of course lots of family and birthday cake.

I know I keep saying how sad I am that she is growing so quickly but really it is more of a bittersweet moment. While I'm sad to be losing my little girl I am so in love with the person she is becoming. She is one of the most thoughtful, funny and compassionate people that I know. She is my little caretaker and is always doing sweet little things for everyone around her. We are constantly smiling with all of her funny jokes and theories on life. Yet she is often insightful and wise well beyond her years.

When she grows up she says she wants to be a mama, a ballerina, a firefighter and maybe a veterinarian. She still prefers chocolate milk to anything else and would eat bread and butter for every meal if we'd let her. Being a ballerina is her current passion and looks forward to class every week. We still read numerous books every day and she is loving being a scientist. Naptime has become optional and she is convinced that four is big enough to stay up late like the grown ups. She would rather be outside and would likely live in the backyard if she could. She insists on taking her vitamin every morning but resists having to have her hair brused. Tomatoes are only eaten while standing in the garden but carrots (raw) are to be eaten any time.

I am looking forward to seeing what the next year brings with this beautiful little little girl.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Super Kinsley

Super Kinsley 1

The ballerinas got to wear their Halloween costumes to dance class tonight (which meant a late night sewing fest last night). Kinsley was beyond excited by her costume and I was happy with how easily it came together. She's ran around all afternoon yelling "Super Kinsley!" and twirling so I will call this another costume success. Thankfully I have a few more days to finish Kait's costume.

Super Kinsley 2
super fast twirling...

Super Kinsley 3

Super Kinsley

You can't see in the pictures but all of the felt is covered in glitter which, to a little girl, makes the costume.

Friday, October 21, 2011

This Moment...

{this moment inspired by Soulemama} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beginning Handwork

This summer Kinsley decided she wanted to learn how to sew "for real, mama" so I thought it was time to start her on some handwork of her very own. I always try to make sure the girls have supplies out where they can easily get to them whenever they feel like working on something. Kinsley kept her sewing in a basket on my sewing table so the needle would be out of sister's reach but it was still available to her at any time. It is so important to me that the girls get involved in creating with their hands for so many reasons. I think it is very important for them to have that connection to handmade items and to really understand the work that goes into the things we have. Handwork like embroidery is also great for their fine motor skills and coordination.

With Kinsley just beginning to really show interest I didn't get too technical with her instructions. I simply hooped a lightweight cotton that would be easy to push a needle through and gave her a needle sharp enough to easily work with but still dull enough to not really hurt if she pricked her fingers, which easily happens. A burlap material and a blunt tip needle would work really well, we simply didn't have any on hand and I wanted to get her started while she was still enthusiastic about it. She knew how to make a basic stitch from the cardboard lacing boards she has had for quite some time so there wasn't much involvement on my part, I simply sat nearby to answer any questions and help her along if she needed it.

Handwork Pic 1

Some days she would sit and work on it for a long time, other days she wouldn't touch it at all. Finally one day she declared that she was finished sewing. She thought about what she wanted to do with it and though I suggested a wallhanging or doll blanket she settled on "A pillow for sissy" and got right to work.

Handwork Pic 2

Handwork Pic 3

Handwork Pic 4

Handwork Pic 5
She did a really good job keeping her lines straight too.

Handwork Pic 6

I stepped back and let her take the reins on her project only helping to turn the pillow and pull out the corners. She was so proud of herself for getting to use the real tools and do everything just like mama does. I think that is a good lesson for us as parents, that just because they are small doesn't mean that their work is not as important. To them, their pursuits are just as important as anything we may be doing and even if we think it may be silly it isn't to them. I try very hard to make sure I remember that with the girls and give them the freedom, respect and materials to ensure whatever they are attempting has the opportunity to develop. Whether that is letting them stay up a bit later to finish a project, making sure they have high quality art materials to work with or just saying "Yes" when they want to take on a project I am not quite sure of, I try to let them know I value their work as much as they do.

Next I think we will work on learning a few embroidery stitches and maybe do some finger knitting, when she is ready again.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bandana dress, the sequel

Bandana Kait

Remember this dress from last year? (and omg how tiny does Kinsley look? Ugh) I find it so funny that many of the things that Kaitlyn has been wearing this summer are things that Kinsley wore only last summer. Things like this dress that I had left in Kinsley's closet thinking she might be able to wear it this spring again only to find that she had more than outgrown it. Why is it that even though I see them growing each and every day I don't realize how quickly they are changing?

Kaitlyn is changing dramatically these days it seems. The difference from week to week is astonishing, even day to day. It seems that she wakes up every day with some new bit of knowledge she has picked up along the way. Her vocabulary is rapidly expanding and her sentences are getting longer. I love that we are all able to have a conversation with each other now and even when we don't quite understand her language she seems to grasp ours quite well.

She is just as fascinated with animals and outdoors as she has been though she seems to be especially enamored with cows as of late. Thankfully living out here cows are easy to come by. Unfortunately it is hard to get anywhere without passing the cows. Immediately she points to them and shrieks "Mooooooooo!" but as soon as they are out of view she cries and is quite pitiful until the next cow sighting. The entire scene is almost too much for her daddy who has uttered the phrase "Maybe we should get her a cow." a bit too often for this mamas liking. Maybe next year honey. Maybe.

Bandana Kait Pic 2
And yes, I realize the pockets are designed to be in the front. Big sister helped her to get dressed and they were both so pleased with themselves that we didn't feel the need to correct it. I kind of like the pockets in the back anyway...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Crayon Art

Crayons Pic 7

I realized I had forgotten to blog this activity (along with several others) from our summer fun, oops. Since the weather man is telling me the temps are going to be near (and below) freezing next week I thought I might ought to get the last summer posts completed.

I know we've all seen this project all over the net and as soon as I saw it on Pinterest I knew it was a must for us. We have a TON of crayons thanks to all the school supply sales and the canvas was left over from another project so we were all set.

Its ridiculously easy to do and the result is a lot of fun. We get compliments on it all the time and even a few requests for custom colors from family. Kinsley is very proud.

Gather up your supplies and decide how you want to arrange your colors:

Crayons Pic 1

Then bust out your hot glue gun and get going. Just glue them to the top edge of the canvas in any order you want.

Crayons Pic 3

Crayons Pic 2

Kinsley went with whatever she was feeling and I tried for more of a rainbow look. I love the ones done in single colors too. The possibilities are endless.

Crayons Pic 5

Crayons Pic 4

We wanted to test a theory and see if the sun would melt them for us. The temp was set to reach 115* that day so we thought we had a chance. Turns out it didn't work so we had to bring them inside and melt them with the blow dryer. It was still really fun. We found that it worked best to point the hair dryer down from the top of the canvas (as in at the blunt end of the crayon).

Crayons Pic 6

Just make sure if you are using the hair dryer inside that you cover a pretty good area around your artwork to protect it from flying wax. Ask me how I know this...

Then find a pretty place to hang your artwork and enjoy. We hung ours above the girls' arts and craft station. (clever huh?)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shepherd's Cross Festival

We had a great morning at Shepherd's Cross for their Pumpkin Festival today. I simply adore this place and all the wonderful things they have to offer throughout the year, if you are local you should definitely go by. Kinsley and I are already planning our next big girl date to be taking one of their classes, I'm thinking drop spindle maybe. I was proud that I resisted bringing home any yarn with me today though I did pick up a small wet felted pumpkin for our nature table.

Pumpkin Festival 1

Pumpkin Festival 2

Pumpkin Festival 3

Pumpkin Festival 8

Pumpkin Festival

Pumpkin Festival 5

Pumpkin Festival 7

Pumpkin Festival 6

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Feeling Fall


I realize there hasn’t been a lot of blog activity lately, there just hasn’t been a lot of activity here lately. We’ve been staying pretty low key and having some lovely lazy days. It has been nice to not carry around the camera and to sort of hibernate as a family. But there has been a lot of mental activity lately, on my part at least. My mind has been going at top speed as of late and I can just feel big things ahead for our family. Have you ever felt like that? Just that something is looming just beyond the horizon and even though you don’t know what it is you feel the need to be prepared. I’m anxious to see what the end of this year has in store for us, if anything at all. It may simply be the pull of the changing seasons as everything seems to be pulled closer to the Earth. Everything around us is preparing for the new season; you can almost feel it buzzing in the air.

Everyone and everything seems to have breathed a huge sigh of relief at the cooling temperatures that have finally arrived. After a summer like we just experienced it is not at all surprising. It seems to have come on suddenly without the usual graceful and slow transition into fall making it a bit hard on some of us to make that switch, no matter how much we have looked forward to it. While the girls have been overjoyed with the increased amount of time outdoors they have resisted the change to longer pants and are not quite ready to let go of the sandals that have adorned their little feet all summer. Meanwhile this mama is happily pulling out sweaters and extra blankets. I’ve started (perhaps a bit late) to dream up some fall clothing and hats to keep little heads warm and perhaps a few items for myself as well. Daddy is dreaming of cooler nights and hunting season opening soon and perhaps dreading the work of chopping wood to keep us warm this winter.

Fall is such a strange time in that even with all the things that need to be completed before the cold weather truly sets in it is still such a relaxed and slow moving time of year; a time for quiet contemplation and certainly, a time for change.