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27 February 2014

My Not So Green Thumb

What color is the opposite of green?  Because that's what color my thumb is.  I'm awful at keeping plants alive.  My dad got us a few flowers to put in a pot in the back yard and it took less than 2 weeks for them to look like they'd been abandoned for 6 months.

I decided it was probably smart to find something that was a little more hardy, and so I thought succulents and cacti might be a fun way to go.  I really wanted to do some cute cactus, but I was afraid to put those near where the girls would be, so I saved those for our mantle.

We had fun taking the girls to Home Depot and picking out the plants.  David decided to give his thumb a try and picked up a ton of seeds to plant with the girls.  I knew it was time to put these pictures up here today when some of those seeds from Sunday started sprouting!

➹ Olivia had to change her outfit so she could dress up like the gardener {from our favorite book The Gardener by Sarah Stewart}. ➹

23 February 2014

Takin' a Hike

Despite the four piles of laundry needing to be folded {or perhaps, because of}, David and I took the girls to South Mountain for a little hike.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and after a week of the girls being sick, it was nice to be outside for awhile.  I'd say Sydney probably enjoyed it more than anyone else.  She was so independent..she didn't want any help unless she absolutely needed it.  She walked way more than Olivia did!  At one point, Olivia said to me, "Mom, I never want to go hiking again!"  But, I think we all had a good time.  Want to see some pictures?  I thought so.

➹ One of our many breaks. ➹

➹ She got a little dirty being independent and not wanting help.  But, she was so proud of herself!  We heard, "I did it!" so many times on the hike! ➹

16 February 2014

Sister Friends: Week 6

We got the girls all dressed up in their Valentine's dresses and took them out this evening for our {not so} weekly photo shoot.  We had two more adults {Nana and Poppy} with us, but it wasn't much easier thanks to my little runner, Sydney.  Out of 100 pictures taken tonight, I got about 8 usable ones.   A professional photographer I am not.

➹ Special guests.... ➹

Release the Butterfly

When Olivia missed school on Wednesday and Thursday, she also missed the releasing of three of the butterflies that they had been observing in her classroom.  As we left the party, her teacher asked us if we would take the net and one remaining chrysalis home in case it emerged over the weekend.  Olivia felt so honored to be asked and we had our fingers crossed that she would be ale to see the butterfly and release it since she had missed it at school.

Sure enough, the butterfly had emerged by the next morning.  We kept him in there for a day so the girls could watch him some and then released him the following morning.  They were both so excited!

➹ She thought the butterfly might want to snack on some Goldfish grahams. ➹

Valentine's Day at Home {and on the radio}

Our girls really get the royal treatment when it comes to holidays.  I guess if people want to show their love for them, what better time than Valentine's Day, huh?  My aunt and uncle gave the girls a cute stuffed animal and a chocolate covered marshmallow {that pretty much got devoured upon delivery}!  My parents gave each of the girls a goodie bag of treats and books, their friends Kate & Kendall sent valentines all the way from California, and their Grandma and Poppa sent some presents as well.  Of course, we had to give them a few things too or it might look bad!  ;)  Here are a few pictures of the girls opening some of their gifts...

If you remember back to Christmas, I surprised David with front row tickets to the taping of NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me program.  The show was the night before Valentine's Day, so it sort of did double duty!  We dropped the kids off at Mom & Dad's and then headed out for a bite to eat before the show.   It was really cool to watch them do the taping and David and I enjoyed listening to the final cut of the program yesterday.

We had big plans for the next morning since both girls were having a sleepover with their Nana & Poppy, but unfortunately there wasn't much sleeping going on with Olivia and Nana.  Poor girl wasn't feeling well and complained of her ear hurting, so I got a wake up call at 7:30 the next day and went to take her to the doctor.  Sure enough, she has her first ear infection.  I'm still glad we got to have a fun night out for Valentine's Day!

Ain't Nothin' But a Valentine's Party

My sweet girl woke up in the middle of the night Tuesday night feeling very warm and coughing like a barking seal.  We kept her home from school on Wednesday and hoped she would feel well enough for her party on Thursday.  Thursday rolled around and even though she said she felt better, her cough made me leery sending her in.  I called and asked if we could be that mom who only brings her child in for the party and they told me that would be fine.  So, that's what we did.  I just couldn't see her spending so much time working on her valentines only to miss the party.

They had three stations: passing out their valentines, counting candy hearts, and decorating a valentines cookie.  Olivia took one bite of the cookie and decided it wasn't very good.  Ha.

➹ Her Valentine bag. ➹

➹ My precious girl. ➹

Hope you all had a fantastic Valentine's Day!

Crafting It Up For Valentine's Day

When I saw the valentines that Allison did for her girls last year, I immediately knew what we would be doing for our valentines this year.  I LOVED the ones we did last year, but that type is getting a little more popular and it took a little bit of work getting the girls to hold their hands/props just right. I figured with this year's type, how hard could it be to get them just to stand still and smile at the camera?!  And then I remembered who I was dealing with!

➹ Here's Olivia with her finished product so you know what our valentines look like. ➹

It took me two different tries because Sydney was not having it the first day, but I managed to get a couple different pictures of the girls that I could use.

➹ I chose this one. ➹

➹ If it weren't for those straggly hairs, I would have chosen this one! ➹

➹ And, I think I wanted to go with this one, but Olivia has opinions these days.  ;) ➹

I uploaded the pictures to and added either "Love, Olivia" or "Love, Sydney" to the bottom right corner and then pulled the saved picture up in Microsoft Word to add the greeting.  I ended up taking the files to Staples and printing them off there onto card stock and then cut them out and taped them onto some craft paper I had leftover from last year.  I used a small blade and a cutting board and put slits in the side of them and stuck the glasses through.  That was the most tedious part, but it worked out nicely for me to do those while Olivia addressed the envelopes.  {We make a mess while we work.}

➹ Poppy did our prototype for us and after we realized it was a little high on this one, we lowered it for the rest of them. ➹

➹ These were the sunglasses we gave out to the boys. ➹

➹  Because the sunglasses we ordered were for toddlers, we used these plastic glasses from Hobby Lobby for the teachers and adults we gave them to. ➹

➹ And, we gave these little containers with Dove chocolates and Valentine M&Ms to the teacher and aides at her school.  I found the printable here. ➹

I absolutely love how the valentines turned out!  I have a feeling we will be repeating this one next year if the girls will let me!  

I should add that we originally ordered cheap sunglasses from Amazon, but the quality was horrible.  The lenses were completely warped.  So, fortunately, I found some other sunglasses here that worked out great.