Saturday, December 25, 2010

Crafty Christmas

I had so much fun making a bunch of our Christmas gifts this year. It all started with the Sew Mama Sew blog and a link for making "baby legs".
So, for Grace and Addison I turned some of these (knee socks from Target):
Into these:

Couldn't stop there, so dresses with matching bows were next.

One for Gracie:

One for Addison:

The matching bows:

And one for Gracie's baby doll:

I also made some Christmas Countdown blocks for Ben. These are not them, because I forgot to take a picture and they are already packed away, but this is the picture of the tutorial from the Little Birdie Secrets blog. My paper was different... more Christmas-y... but you get the idea.
What to do for the ladies that were over 2 years old?

Tote bags!

From left to right, we have Dee, Holly, Mom, and Jess.
Diane's was already in the mail for her December 11th birthday. :)

And what good are fun gifts without fun gift tags... so I made these to match the cute wrapping paper I picked up at Hobby Lobby (50% off - woo to the hoo!).
It was a fun season of creating and giving some hand-made items.
I hope everyone enjoyed receiving them as much as I enjoyed making them!
And as an added bonus, seeing me hard at work using a borrowed sewing machine inspired Brian to get me one of my own! Merry Christmas to me! Thanks, Babe!

Friday, December 10, 2010

"First I drew the head and eyes and mouth."

This is definitely my favorite Ben moment from the past few months, if not ever. It is a miracle that I could stop laughing long enough to get the camera and make him explain it to me again. My words can't do this justice... the video will speak for itself.

Also, it is important for me to mention that this is a drawing of a man. A male zoo keeper, to be exact. He later added a turtle. The turtle (thankfully) did not have nipples.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Frito Pie Fright Night, take 2!

Last year’s frito pie potluck was such a success that we decided to do it again. This year, the Sullivan’s hosted the festivities. The kids had an AWESOME time! Ben wanted to be “Tiny” from Dinosaur Train. I found his costume online, and then I made Gracie’s to match. She’s an almost hatched “Shiny”.
My favorite part of her costume is the little bow on the top of her egg shell hat!
Another fun part of the night was the news we shared. The Dinosaur Train theme song said it best:
“Once upon a time there was a Mom, her name was Mrs. Pteranodon. Sitting on her nest she heard a scratch and said, “Oh boy my eggs are hatching!” One by one, the kids popped free… baby pteranodons one, two, THREE!
That’s right! The 5th member of our family is due to arrive in April of 2011. We are SOOO excited!
Ben’s and his best bud, Buzz Lightyear (also known as Tanner).
Getting things started… Gracie wasn’t too sure about this trick-or-treating thing.
She soon got the hang of it.
She held her own with the big kids!
Get candy, get candy, get candy!
Break time!
It was a little on the warm side (that’s Texas for you), so by the end of the night, Gracie decided on a costume change. Here she is up to a little “Risky Business”.
What a fun night!!! Thank you to the Sullivan family for hosting!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grace versus Goat

One of Ben's favorite things at our zoo is the petting zoo. I use the term petting zoo loosely, as it only has a small herd of goats. Regardless, it's always been a fun activity to visit their corral where you can pet them, brush them, and feed them. The goats have always been perfectly pleasant. I have proof, I swear.

See... here you go... what a sweet goat that little 8 month old Ben is petting.
And here we are again... NICE goat. And again, a year and a half later... "How are you, Mr. Calm, Relaxed Goat?"
Well, our opinion of the zoo goats has now been tainted. We were there this past weekend for a birthday party, and I took Ben and Grace into the petting zoo area. Ben took off to say hi to the goats, while I put Grace down to walk around in an uncrowded area. She took about three steps before two goats decided that they were going to spar. It happened so fast. One minute we were walking around by ourselves, the next minute Grace was plowed over by two crazed goats. I mean PLOWED. She landed face down in the gravel and slid across the ground like she was sliding into home plate. She was covered in dirt and grime.... even in her mouth, poor baby. (I'm not even going to begin to think about the yuckiness that was the dirt & gravel in the goat area.) When I got her all cleaned up, I saw that she was going to have a nice little shiner and some scrapes to go with it. She cried hard for a minute or two, but she got over it fairly quickly. We went straight from there to the party area for cake and ice cream, and that went a LONG way to smooth things over.
Here she is with her goat injuries...

We'll probably be avoiding the goat petting area (aka war zone) for a while. We'll stick to petting Army... he's the same size and color, and he can be counted on to never go faster than 1 mile per hour.

The (Asian) Artist

Ben wanted to show off (especially for Grammy & Grandad)
using his new easel and paints!
Here he is showing off his fancy smock...

It fits great!

Working on his first painting.
Using ALL the colors and doing a great job! The finished project. It's a tree (bottom left) and a bunch of birds, for those of you without an eye for art. ;)

You know it wouldn't be a Ben activity if there wasn't a humorous anecdote to tell. When he finished painting, he told me that he had painted it for our friend Drew. (This normally wouldn't be relevant information, but Drew is Asian). I reminded him that Drew and Jamie had just moved away (Jamie is an Air Force doctor - we were sad to see them go!) He thought for a second and said, "Well, then I'll give it to Mr. Ikki." (Ikki is our neighbor from across the street, and happens to be the only other Asian that Ben knows personally.) Apparently, it was VERY important to Ben that the recipient of his work be of Asian descent. I have NO IDEA how this child's mind works, but he cracks me up!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Funny Grace

We are enjoying Gracie Belle's little personality more and more each day! She is a very silly little 14 month old. Just like her brother, she keeps us laughing all day long!

Who needs sippy cups when you can steal Mommy's water mug?
Aaaahhhhh! So refreshing!
She kept bringing me bows to put in her hair.
Then she sat down to read a book about tractors.
It is obviously very important to balance the girlie with the macho.
She also insists on having snacks at the big kids' table with Bubba.
CHEESE! (Literally & figuratively)
And finally, here she is with her new friend, Fievel. She found him in Bubba's room and has been carrying him around. He's as big as she is (actually, his head is twice as big as hers), but he does make for a cuddly bedtime buddy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Better than a hallelujah!

I love dance parties with my Ben. He initiated this one himself. (Hence the mellow music.) Normally I would put on something a little more peppy, but my boy can wiggle to any tempo!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ben sings "Five Little Ladybugs"

Ben is singing one of his favorites,  "Five Little Ladybugs". I apologize for the horrible quality of the filming but Grace someone who shall remain nameless was trying to turn the camera on herself. Also, please do not be concerned about the 3rd little ladybug who unfortunately was eliminated when "one of them stepped on the other one's toe." Uh-oh, there she goes!

And... she's off!

We officially have a walker on our hands. Our little Gracie Bell took her first steps (3 in a row) the day after she turned 11 months. (The EXACT same timing that Ben took his first steps - crazy). Two short weeks later and she has abandoned crawling all together. It is so funny, because crawling would get her from point A to point B so much faster. She is a determined and independent little thing. She'll pause, squat, and readjust 10 times just to make it across the room, but she is 100% committed to being a toddler.

Everyone marvels at her skills, not because she's walking exceptionally early, but because she's the size of some 6 month olds that I know, so it appears that she's doing things she is much too little to do. My cousin says she looks like a Weeble-Wobble. I liken it more to a much cuter, less horrifying Chucky Doll. This is probably my favorite milestone, though. It's so much easier to play outside with a walker than with a baby that's trying to crawl around through dirt or on cement. I think we'll be catching up on some trips to the park and the zoo in the near future!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

First Pool Party!

What warm weather we've been having! Yay for the first impromptu, neighborhood pool party of the season. Double yay that Gracie Belle is big enough to get in on the action! The kids had a great time. Thanks, Liz, for always hosting these, and for reminding me of yet another reason why I'm going to miss being your neighbor!
We've outgrown 1 pool - so we designated a "boy pool" and a "girl pool". There is Avery, trying to sneak into the boys' pool. No one was surprised. :)
Check out Grace - holding her own with the big kids!

Girls rule! Avery and Elise were so sweet to Grace.

And this is why we had to have separate pools - crazy boys! Cole was around somewhere...


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Happy (late) Easter, everyone! We had a really great Easter weekend this year, filled with some of our favorite activities (church, a birthday party, and time with friends), some of Ben's favorite activities (hunting eggs and eating candy), and even a few new things that will hopefully become family Easter traditions (dyeing eggs adn resurrection cookies).

This year, we went to church on Friday night instead of Saturday, because Avery's birthday party was going to be Saturday afternoon. Here we are after church, all dressed up.

Grace showing off her Easter dress & shoes!
Thanks, Sweetie!
 After church, we had some dinner, put Grace to bed, and then dyed some Easter eggs with Ben. This is the first time we've done this with him and he really enjoyed it. He liked watching the little color tablets fizz and dissolve, and he thought it was really cool to see the eggs change color. We set them aside to dry so that we could turn them into monsters the next day. :)

On Saturday morning, we drove all the way down to Culebra for Ben's T-Ball practice, only to find the field empty. I made a call to the coach who confirmed that, oh yeah, he had to work this morning, so practice is cancelled. Grrrr. Ok, so 30 minutes of stop and go traffic on 1604 later and we were back home. Oh well, more time to finish decorating our monster Easter eggs. Ben loved this part even more... picking out stickers and gluing on the hair and pipe cleaners. They turned out really cute!

Eggs done, lunch eaten, naps taken. Now, it was party time! We went next door to Aaron & Liz's for Avery's 2nd birthday party. Ben had a great time playing with Tanner, Avery, Emily, Alana, Cole & Elise. They did the jump-jump in the backyard, ate some dinner, and then we had a big Easter egg hunt in the front yard. Ben proudly showed off his basket that had, in his words, "MILLIONS of eggs!"

Afterthe party, we put Grace to bed (again - she misses all the fun) and Ben and I set out to make resurrection cookies. I found a recipe here. I don't like pecans, so we crushed up Heath bar instead. Ben was really into helping with each ingredient and it was a great teaching tool for the Easter story. We did the first couple steps and read the scripture verses in between. By the time we got to the sugar, Ben was asking, "Well, what does the Bible have to say about that?!"

I'd never donethem before, so I was really hoping that they'd turn out so that the empty tomb illustration would be realized. Well, low and behold, we took them out of the oven the next morning and Voila! They were tasty, too ~ I think this will definitely be a project that we add to our Easter traditions.

After Ben checked on (and tasted) his cookies... it was on to baskets. Here are my "Pottery Barn Knock-offs". (Those baskets are so cute, but no way am I spending $40+ dollars on an Easter basket. These were cheap-o finds from Garden Ridge and I sewed the liners myself.) The loot was a group effort from Sweetie, Grammy & Granddad, PawPaw & Dee Dee, and of course, Mr. Bunny. The kids loved everything - thanks everyone!

Grace's expression is priceless!