Saturday, October 20, 2012


It's amazing how much touch accounts for in this family. It's the number one source of comfort and even more the number one source of joy, from tickles to kisses. And in some cases it's the number one cause of crying! Some senses I could go without but this is defiantly not one of them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Night Out

A rare night out sans kids. A quiet (very gross) dinner with some awesome friends, and an insanely loud concert. I am pretty sure I have become the equivalent  of an old woman. I rarely listen to loud music, loud for me is quiet enough you can still hear people and I have come to believe that when women sound like sailors they look ultra trashy. Where oh where have my youthful potty mouth days gone?! Bayside was amazing, and Taking Back Sunday while filthy (I mean literally) was almost as awesome.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


The joy of bubbles by Robyn · 365 Project
I have finally found and joined a 365 days/photos project. Here's today's entry. I know boys aren't supposed to be beautiful but mine are!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Waking the beast!

Right after writing the last post I went upstairs for my nightly routine of giving my boys ridiculous amounts of kisses and holding the littlest while he is still small enough to hold. After several minutes of me holding him he woke up, and was instantly his happy little self. I love how when your child locks eyes with you (at least while they are young) there is the instant connection and you know your both enjoying the love and bond you share. I love feeling the weight of him in my arms, and the feel of his soft hands and he touches my face. You can't help but smile and laugh as he alternates between trying to jam his finger up your nose, and his attempts to get you to "bite" his fingers. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a mother and have this ridiculous amount of love and joy in my life. 

Overcoming Fears

My pretty little NICU baby.
Do you have something you fear, something that eats away at you and sometimes becomes an obsession that threatens to overwhelm you.Nothing makes me sadder than the thought of loosing a child or my amazing husband. I am comforted to know that we are sealed for time and all eternity, but the thought of the rest of my life without part of my amazing family makes my heart physically ache. Lately I keep stumbling across blogs about loss and after a post or two the fear threatens to take over. The thought of a stillborn, or the death of a baby makes me not want to ever try for another one. But then I remember all that we have been promised. And while I know the pain would be overwhelming I have to remember that I have been on the threshold of such a fear becoming a reality. And in that moment that we thought we would loose our firstborn after only holding him for a minute and not having the chance to know him I can't forget the comfort we received knowing he was ours forever no matter the outcome. I am in awe of so many women who forage on after such pain, I pray every day that my strength is not tested. I need to focus more on enjoying the moment, letting the craziness and pure chaos that seems to follow my children slide and just enjoy their laughter, their love, and all the pure joy they bring to our lives. I think more than anything I need to focus on how good life is, and what kind of ways I want to spend my short time here on this beautiful earth.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

House of Chaos

Today I noticed something I have never before noticed. I have been deceived. A certain short person led us to believe that he would be the easy child. He was always such a laid back baby, a go with the flow type of kid. But as he inches closer to one and a half he has become a master of destruction, a climber with no fear, and someone who is more whole and content when he is in my arms. Some of it I love, some of it I laugh at while shaking my head in disbelief that such things could occur to a child. And when worst comes to worse I allow the destruction and wait for daddy to get home. Today we decided to by-pass total house destruction for a few hours and go for a walk, feed the pigs rocks, (don't your children do that?) and eat the last of our tomatoes. When we returned they let the destruction hit a whole new level, and aforementioned short one decided to try and climb the stove while dinner cooked.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Letting the Love show.

I have noticed something about writing down my love for my children makes me more grateful for them. That said I am going to try to keep up with this better. What mother doesn't need a few minutes to reflect on all the love received and so easily given between mother and child. Moments good and bad need to be remembered, you never know how many more you will have and while I know that love reigns eternal and that this life isn't all we have together I want to cherish every moment I spend with those who own me heart and soul. As some of you know I consider myself a photographer (These days who doesn't ; ) ) and my main goal as said photographer is to focus more on lifestyle photography. While I may one day not be able to feel the weight of my baby on my chest, or the feel of their soft hands, their silky chubby bellies I want to have photo's of it all. When I look at a picture I feel what I felt in the moment. The love, the laughter, and sometimes the frustration of getting two crazy boys to stop moving to fast for a slow shutter speed and natural light! I want to remember this life, and especially the part where I have babies and little ones moment by moment. 
An oldie but goodie.

The Legacy of Lucas

Today I was looking through the participants for the newest installment of the Sling Diaries, while reading through Moments with Love I came across the story of Lucas and of course bawled my eyes out.  There is something about being a mother that changes you in a way nothing else can, it doesn't matter if you gave birth to the child or not being a mother gives you empathy and a level of caring that can be at times painful. Lucas was an orphan in Uganda, abandoned but lucky enough to find someone who loved him, she was to young to have him, to poor, and before she could find someone to take him, to love him, he was lost to her. It's a story that tears at your heart and makes you hold your children a little longer and a little closer. Initially I only thought of it from the side of the babies, how could someone do that to them? How could you abandon a child to world where they are only loved by care takers not family? It makes me want to have another child just to know that they will be sent somewhere they are loved, or adopt one that needs that love. But then I thought of their mothers. The poor women who believe that this is what's best for their child not because they don't love them but because they don't have the means to take care of them, they can't afford the food these babies need, or the basic items it takes to keep them clean and healthy. The thought of being that mother, the one who cannot take care of this baby they love broke my heart in a whole new way. My goal is to do all I can to find a way to help those who have so little, here is a site you can donate to, to give babies diapers for a month, a year, or any amount you can. Think of how you would feel as one of these mothers or caretakers, hold you baby a little closer, ignore the infuriating things they do, and give all you can!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Child Led Weaning

We're at the point where Little Little doesn't ask to nurse often maybe every other day or so, I generally offer once (lately twice has been a little more often than once) a day and he almost always wants to nurse when I offer. Last time around the end of nursing was a relief, no more being bitten, no more hiding away to feed the baby making myself feel much more isolated than necessary. This time I can't seem to want to let go of it, it seems like I'll be letting go of the most beautiful connection and allowing my baby to go from baby to toddler. If my milk/Little little would allow I am convinced we would at minimum hit the 18 month point (that point I swore to the hubs would be the end of the line) Now that the end is here however I find myself not wanting to let go. The offering twice a day feels more like a desperate attempt to keep it going as well as any excuse to get my little one to sit still and cuddle for more than a minute or two. Nursing has brought such a beautiful connection to my children and I am so glad that it came with such ease, it's a connection I am clinging to even though I know when its time for it to end it wont change our relationship. I love the stages the boys are at and plan to have our next one have the same age gap (3 years) because it gives me time to give to the little one while he is still little while his brother is at school. I fear though I will be consumed with fierce baby hunger once again once the nursing is gone. Reading this article filled me with preemptive dread about the end of nursing. I am sure that a slow child led wean however should not produce the same effect. In some ways I am excited to have my body back, to be able to take something for a cold, or a horrible head ache. I'm sure the the last nurse will be any day now, and it will be an excuse for some hilarious chick flick, like what to expect, or Baby Mama which will inevitably make me feel good about not being pregnant and just loving on my awesome children.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fall crafting

Fall is finally here! And that means Halloween is just around the corner, in celebration of future celebrating we have decorated our whole house and every day the boys are working on new projects to celebrate Fall. Here are some awesome Halloween masks ($1.50, thank you Joann's craft!) that have held their attention for hours and hours, the Dracula teeth for some reason are hilarious to Big little and he asks about them or points them out every time he puts it on. One of the best things about this was Little little has finally mastered what it means to paint, and he hardly eats any of it anymore! 

Teaching in the Kitchen

A big part of Montessori that drew me to it was having a child who could do practical things in the home that so many kids aren't taught anymore, So since fall is finally here and my baking is in full swing the Big little man learned how to make bread from scratch yesterday (don't mind the dishes, all our baking was well worth the giant mess) His favorite part was dumping in the ingredients and then folding the dough over and over.

Here is our favorite bread recipe at the moment, we just add a bit of garlic salt to the top (it is added to almost EVERYTHING in our house) 


  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups bread flour


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
  2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The makings of an exchange

We still have things to gather before we send out our Cultural exchange packets but here are the makings of the craft goodies we are sending, wooden nutcrackers complete with paint and brushes, Pipe cleaners in the colors of the German flag, and some lovely trains for Window art. Of course no package for children is complete with out stickers! I still need to add a flag, post cards, pictures, and a lovely little story about a boys daily life in Germany!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hot Wheels Painting

 This was a hit! We got out hot wheels, corks, bubble wands, and toy animals and saw what they could do. Not only did we paint on paper and bodies, we got the slide, and of course as finger paining always does it ends with foot painting (which usually causes one child or another to fall over) When all was said and done the boys had a great time, Little little ate A LOT of paint and we have some great track work for their walls. We got out paint here it's gluten free, non toxic, and has almost nothing in it that could cause allergies which is perfect for this house!

Friday, July 20, 2012


It's funny how being a mother is never really what you thought it would be. I never thought I could be this tired (All the time) or that I could get over the gag to the point of vomiting urge at the sight of throw up, among other things. I also never thought I could love this deeply so instantly, or have so much joy at something as simple as a smile, or a little person whispering how much they love you. As I type this I have a one year old destroying the house and completely full of joy, and an almost four year old having a lovely water activity in the sink (aka my house will soon be soaked!) It's amazing the difference there is between life in my house with two boys and life growing up in a house full of five girls. You never realize how glorious destruction can be until you have a son. The other day while I was willing away the time I read a few quotes that made me realize how important everything children do really is. It's amazing to think something as simple as playing with a toy is developing your child both physically and mentally.

"Respect all reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages in and try to understand them." -Maria Montessori

"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But, for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood." Fred Rogers

Sometimes I feel like I need a wall of things like this, constant reminders to let things go and let my children be what they need in that moment. However if I had a whole wall of all the things I should be doing as a mother I fear I would spend the majority of my time reading it and worrying about it instead of parenting in a natural way that flows for us all.

Language Activity (1yr)

A Language Activity With Feeding Objects (1yr)

Indirect Aim:To be able to put activities away, motor and cognitive development
Direct Aim:Develop skills for recognizing objects
Materials:Three items used at feeding time (spoon, cup, bowl, plate, fork), a small basket, a tray
This activity was easy enough to set up, using three items per sitting you present the child (this is for 12 months) tell them what it is allow them to explore it and then ask them to put it in the basket. After each object has been explained and placed in the basket you ask for specifics. When they give you the wrong thing you explain what they have and ask again for your first object. We have been giving little little a small glass cup to drink out for the last few months but, I will admit I still cringe when he thinks it needs to go for a walk, and the fact that he loves to throw things at the dinner table doesn't help the cringe factor much either!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hand Transfer

This activity teaching children how to control items from one object to the next, in our case it also taught someone how dumping out the bowl onto the tray made some lovely rain sounds! It got a good five minutes of use. I love these activities that cost nothing and teach coordination and control!
 I have done a few activities with the little one, (coin box, cylinder and box, and we are working on multiple shape puzzles) I have a few activities set up for each boy on shelves they can reach and both work on them often (I'd like a bit more) for now the main thing we are in desperate need of working on is cleaning up and putting things back where they go! The little has started "cleaning" things up and while the proves might be two blocks in and one block out at the moment we are making progress!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Children of the World

It's been a long time since I posted. Life has been full of family, camping, swimming and more sickness than any summer deserves. The more I get into Montessori, and getting ready for Big little to start attending Montessori preschool this summer, the more I love it. For me one of the biggest things in it is teaching children to be more than just a child of their environment, their community, or their country, Montessori believes in helping children become children of the world. Both of our boys have been to more countries than everyone in our families (save my father) but both are/were so little I don't know how much they will remember (little little if any). In order to help them become children of the world I have been on a campaign to bring awareness to them as much as possible about cultures of the world. We are anxiously awaiting Little Passports, we signed up for the Jettsetters package which will send us;

  • A letter from Sam and Sofia describing their in-country adventures
  • Fun and unique souvenirs and gifts that bring each country to life
  • A secret code to access our online Boarding Zone full of games & activities

After exploring each package I plan on finding a special dish from the country and having them help cook it, searching for video's on Youtube, and doing all that we can to connect with how life there differs from ours.
We FINALLY (Weeks seems like a long time for those of us who have no patience) Got a group for Chasing Cheerios Cultural Exchange, which we are more excited about that even our Little Passport. In our group we have Guatemala/USA, Australia, and Canada. We will get letters from kids telling us about their lives, activities, pictures, recipes and more. We are standing in for Germany for this one and I cannot wait to get the packages together to send out. (I will post them as soon as they're ready!)  After joining Chasing Cheerios I decided this is something I want to do as often as possible and found This website , the wait should be about a month before we are assigned a group but it will be well worth it. First we are planning on the world exchange and next time around we are going to do Stateside.
The thing I am most excited about in all of this is having the boys (really only Big little at this point) feel a connection between himself and the world. He has such a deep connection to Germany, and I want him to realize how much good there is in a world so full of evil and disappointment and to know that no matter how different you are from someone you are so much the same.

Monday, June 11, 2012


There are days when Big Little and I butt heads, enormously. I feel like my patience with him is too little, always too little. He is so much like me that some days it's hard for either of us. Yet he (like me) has a sweet side. He is loving and kind and he cuddles his mama every chance he can. Reading about the loss of a child on Pack of Fixations makes me bawl every time without fail. And it makes me realize just how lucky I am to have those moments whether good or bad with my beautiful boys. Those days where you are puked on seemingly endlessly (like Sunday) and those days where your kids won't listen to a word you say they just push the boundaries again and again. I love every moment, sometimes the days are long and I just can't wait for bed time but soon after it hits I find myself going up to kiss my non-sleeping still playing rather loudly boys. And again once they are asleep, and again before I go to bed. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and go upstairs just to look at them and give them a snuggle. I would rather face any struggle God can give me than to loose my boys, I love them so much everything I could have thrown at me would be worth it. My number one thing I have been working on is patience. I think that more than anything will give me the results I want not only with my boys but with our lives as a whole. Besides being a wife to my wonderful hubby nothing can compare to being those boys mama. I hope we have a few more in store for us one day.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I know it may be ridiculous but starting late on Christmas day I start missing Christmas, and I miss it day in and day out until Thanksgiving when the whole beautiful season starts again. I wouldn't add another Christmas because once a year is part of what makes it special, but I bask in every moment of the Christmas spirit that I can. This year I am already missing German Christmas Markets. Germans do Christmas right, better than anyone I have so far seen. The smell is second to none, even Keukenhof gardens in Holland (if heaven doesn't smell like that place I WILL be disappointed) cannot top the smell of a German Christmas market. The food, the tree's everything about the atmosphere is perfect. From the little shops set up in wooden booths to the different versions of nativities (Bitburg's live animals top all no matter how creepy the mane quins are) I could spend every day of the Christmas season wandering through the markets listening to the live bands, and drinking the cider and shopping, ahh endless shopping for beautiful hand made goods.
Doesn't this look like Christmas heaven?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Helmuth Hubener

Since moving back from Germany my obsession has grown even more, it could have to do with the love I have for Germany or maybe it's just feeling like a piece is missing from life now that we are back . World War 2 has always had a strong draw form me, thanks to watching mass amounts of documentary's with my dad growing up. Today I watched "Truth and Conviction the Helmuth Hubener Story" It's an amazing story of three teenage boys who did all they could to fight the evils of the Nazi regime. The boys were LDS, (Mormon) and something about knowing that those of my faith did all that they could to fight the evils of this era is completely moving. They were so young and although they may have been scared they were truly fearless in their actions. Some members of the faith believed in Nazi's (every faith is full of different political believers) many simply feared objecting but, these three boys were so brave and willing to risk everything to stand for their beliefs. I love history, and knowing where the world has been and what caused those events this story is moving and gives you faith in the world that sometimes feels so full of evil.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fostering a Love of Learning

The main thing that I love about Montessori is that if done correctly you can end up with a child who loves to learn who is curious about the amazing world around us. Personally I lost my love of learning when middle school hit, I had no desire to attend college and hardly cared about high school. After having a child however I wanted to learn, not just to teach him but for me. Now there is little I enjoy as much as I do learning, particularly about history. I have been attending school online for awhile, and before it was all just to learn everything I could about anything that interested me. Now however I have decided to finally be degree seeking, and now that we are no longer military it's going to cost a small fortune to finally get that piece of paper in my hand.
I want my children to love learning, and have a strong desire to know all that they can. So instead of rushing on walks we stop and explore everything from bugs to cracks in the side walk. We read as much as we can and any time a question arises I do all I can to answer it to the greatest degree of my knowledge and their level of understanding.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Soul Soother

There is something about little little that brings this amazing peace to you when he is close. I always get a sense of peace when I am around my boys even when things are pure chaos but there is something about this little man that just soothes the soul. I am so excited to see what kind of person he becomes as he grows older, and I hope he never looses this sense of peace he carries around with him.

Montessori Materials

With Little Little's first bday fast approaching I have been on the look out for fun educational things, I got all of this from Adena Montessori. They have amazing prices for Montessori materials, which are super expensive and defiantly not in the average budget. Although they were all listed in the infant/toddler section  the discs on dowels are not going to be put in the rotation for awhile, although his brother may have fun with them. So for now he is going to have the circle puzzles, Horizontal Dowel Variation ,and imbucare Box w/ Large Cylinder.  I am very excited to see what he thinks of them. He isn't one for normal toys so I think they should work out great, at the moment his favorite toy is rhythm sticks. There is nothing better than a toy you can both chew and beat everything in sight with! There are a few more things on the way that I know he will love, this is the first birthday we are going all natural and I am super excited about it. Not that we won't buy plastic toys or little metal cars (I have boys after all what kind of mom would I be if we didn't have hot wheels in our house?) I cannot wait for his little wooden animal to get here. Here's to hoping he loves it all if not just some of it!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Big little and I seem to butt heads often, and since his dad has been gone for longer periods of time over the day with work, behavior has become a major issue. I know I need to work on patience (that is one virtue I have the hardest time possessing) and change something in our daily life to fix whatever the problem is but I just don't know what! He can be the sweetest person out there, he is loving and kind and on the flip side he is crazy hyper and the most defiant child I have ever met (if you know me you know where he gets this from) I think a lot of the head butting is how similar we are but, I just am not sure what to do at this point. I need to finish simplicity parenting (any guide to calmer kids should be read by all adults in this house). Being a parent is such a tough thing, you love them more than anything and who doesn't want the absolute best for their kids? In those bad moments I have flashes of those kids you see and die a little inside for their parents, or thoughts of all those messed up adults who according to their psychologists their parents are to blame for every bad thing in their lives/things they have done. Finding a good balance of everything is hard especially since every child needs one that is tailored to them. I wish that the desire to raise happy healthy children would solve it all, at this point though I am willing to try anything. No form of punishment seems to phase him, and positive re-enforcement worked about half the time (the time that he is normally well behaved any ways). I never realized quiet what a worry being a parent would be I knew it would be bad, but this is defiantly exceeding my expectations.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Down our street, an old smelly barn and a beautiful church!
Gladbach, our German Village.
It may be that living abroad was a dream I have had since childhood, but I just can't seem to stop missing Germany. Three years of our married lives we got the amazing chance to live in a foreign country, it's where Big little went from a baby to a boy, and it's where we brought Little little home for the first time. It's such an amazing country with such a turbulent past. Where we lived was a tiny village ( Honestly tiny) it was picturesque and beautiful and over a thousand years old. No where in America (that I have seen) has tiny villages that are so beautiful usually the smaller it is here the more ghetto. We had awesome neighbors who did all sorts of things we thought odd but who were always friendly and willing to help us. The boys had their German Oma and Opa who gave them candy every single time we went over. I loved how driving to our village was like driving in the mountains. The airport has been one of my favorite places since I can remember, any where with that amount of possibility has to be. Germany was like that but even better, even just a walk in the woods or a stroll down to our village park was always enjoyable. The food was amazing and the chance to go to a new country where you didn't speak the language and the customs were unknown was always a possibility. My love of history grew even more, as did my love of architecture and for people. My not so secret secret hope is that one day we will get a chance to live abroad again, I'd go pretty much anywhere. If I got to choose though I would opt for Ireland my favorite place we saw, or of course for Round 2 of  Deutschland!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Round 2

It's amazing how many things you have down to a science by the time your second one comes along. Everything from birthing to feeding flows so much smoother the second time around. My first birthing experience was way to medically involved. They believed my water had broke (the pre-sack did) and since no one bothered to check me I was put on pitocin and 43 hours later the pushing (for 2.5 hours mind you) began.  It was nothing like what I had hoped for. If it had been my second baby I would have left the hospital if I had ever gone in besides for a quick check, and waited at home for labor to actually begin. My baby was whisked away for hours on end, and being to timid I didn't demand the things I had rights to (it took them over four hours before the pleading finally allowed me to see him). The second time around I went over my due date, I had a completely natural birth (Warnings that it hurt like hell didn't quiet do it justice) in a tub in a German hospital, we got skin to skin immediately and shortly after the birth we had our first latch on.
With Big little I would hide myself away to nurse, being entirely to prudish for anyone's good. So he was supplemented (Not that I see this as a bad thing in the least bit, you do what works for you and this time that's what worked for us) with little little he has never had formula we have had no need (thank you nursing cover) I have loved nursing this time around I don't feel like I have to hermit myself away to give my baby what I need.
We now know that following the rhythm of the child is what we need to do as often as possible, before he got used to ours. Both boys have learned to deal with different situations (Travel being our number one) that don't go along with what they always want. One of the best things I have done for both boys is baby wearing. I LOVE it, and so did both of them the benefits both mentally and emotionally have been huge for us. They get to see what we are doing and how we do it, and they get the closeness we both desire.
Little little came into an environment where we read more, and focus more on following their whims on things like walks. It may take us half an hour to walk half a block sometimes but we enjoy it. I wish I had known everything I know now sometimes. But that learning curve is something to be enjoyed. There are things I would do different if I could go back but I am so glad for every step we took along the way that has got us where we are now, I can honestly say I love the place we are in as a family, as parents, and as spouses.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sleeping Methods

I am not one for co-sleeping once we hit a certain age (The one where someone knows I will nurse at any given point through out the night just for some sleep) After reading Bringin up Bebe our next child may be weaned of night nursing a little earlier than this one was, we finally accomplished this a month or two ago and sleeping through the night with out nursing has its ups and downs. I loved nursing at night since it was our one time just us, cuddling. We believe in crying it out, but to what extent? Some nights our boys will cry for ridiculous amounts of time. One has growing pains, and sharing a room that often means both wake up. When it comes to pain or nightmares how long do you cuddle and soothe for? My parents were the best when it came to this I don't remember having to go to sleep afraid if I needed them. I think laying there in the toddler bed for longer periods of time is something I need to work on. No matter how sweaty, uncomfortable, and how much crying ensues from the other child. I love every minute of it and need to let other things go and focus on the beautiful moments I have with my boys while they are still little.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Check out my first newborn shoot

It's been well over a year since I have done a shoot, and here is my first not my baby newborn shoot, I loved everything about it and wouldn't mind if I had a client list full of mini people.

Writing Center, and teaching the boy to fish!

Is there anything cuter than this? The Hubs is taking Big Little fishing tomorrow and with a new mini pole in hand he could not be more excited. He spent a few minutes learning to cast from his daddy and the remainder of the evening showing every neighbor in site his mad skills.
I have been reading this blog and this blog lately and am SO inspired by them! I have started a writing center for big little since that is one of the main things he has no interest in (didn't even know a kid could not love coloring!) He loved all the stickers especially, it will be awhile before it's finished seeing as an Ikea trip is needed but for now we are working with what we have and loving it! This is the book that inspired a writing center to begin with but Sew Liberated was what got me going!
I would love to take her e-course!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The weekend

Yes he is sitting still.
We had a lovely weekend, we went back to where were married and took a family pic, I was brave enough to let little little start using a spoon on his own, we finally attempted the weaning cup. We bought flowers and veggie plants and then we bought some more. Someone learned the magic of the slip and slide and how wonderful it is even if you just sit on it... We got to hear the end of a temple dedication, with a beautiful prayer to begin work on a house of the Lord. And best of all we celebrated 5 years together, and the joy that is motherhood.

Here's to hoping my black thumb doesn't do these all in. 

A giant mess, but the spoon was used at least twice...
The remains of the old tabernacle, and the soon to be new Temple!

He picked out almost everything

Friday, May 11, 2012

5 years and counting!

This weekend is our 5 year anniversary, which these days is quiet the accomplishment. It's amazing how fast time flies, I am glad to say Dev is still my absolute best friend and I can't imagine having a more amazing/awesome husband. We are still lovey enough to gross people out which means I know we're doing good. Since we got married we have lived in 7 houses, joined the Air force, got sealed, had a baby, moved to Germany, had another baby, traveled Europe, moved back to Utah, got out of the Air force, and now are embarking on a new journey with our first Civilian career. We have had ups and downs not so much in our relationship as in our lives, when our first little man was born he had all sorts of problems and going through that was the toughest thing I have ever had to do, I can't imagine having gone through it with anyone else. We have experienced births, and deaths and somehow through it all we only got stronger as a couple, as friends, and as parents. I think having God in our marriage has made a world of difference and I can't imagine doing it any other way. Knowing that we are sealed For Time and All Eternity is the most comforting thought in the world to me. No matter what happens, or what loss may come I still have my family for forever.
We got married young by modern standards. I was 18 and he was 21, I scoff at people that young occasionally so I get it. But when you know you know, I had planned on marrying at 18 and having babies soon there after since I was a kid. Nothing seemed more important (still isn't) than having a family to me. I honestly had no desire to even attend collage until I had my first son and realized how much of a difference it could make for him. (Now school isn't just about my children its about my love of learning) I know many people think 18 is way to young to get married and just look at it as a tragedy waiting to happen. We were both pretty mature for our ages, I graduated early and moved out and supported myself  at 17, and I fully believe that he is exactly what I needed to keep myself in line. Something that I love about getting married so young is that you get to do a lot of growing up together and you don't get so set in your ways before you become a we. (He is like an old man if he had another five years of bachelorhood he would have been way to set in his ways!) We met shortly after I turned 16 (Mormon dating age) and I knew in a matter of days that he was the one. Besides when he told me jokingly he had a heart disease and didn't expect to live past 25 (I had no idea it was a joke for a LONG time) he's the type of guy who when he says something he means it, so when he told me he loved me and later that he wanted to marry me I knew it wasn't just a line, he honestly intended to spend eternity with me. These last five years have been amazing, and I look forward to grow old with him and. seeing our kids grow and become parents themselves. There could be nothing better than being married to your best friend that makes you laugh every day and still loves you no matter what a giant dork you are or are teaching your kids to be!
P.s Hollie Hanson is our amazing photographer, we love her so much she has been with us for every family wedding since we met her! The photo with the wrecked motorcycle is no joke, after the ceremony and during pictures an un named motorist decided that flying down a canyon was a good idea, hit gravel and no joke him and his motorcycle flew end over end off the rode. He wasn't seriously injured and it made for an awesome memory. For us at least!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Homemade play dough

I love when you find something that just completely inspires you.  For me Montessori does it again and again, I find every book/website/blog I can to learn more about it and how to use it in our home. Today Big little and I made play dough while his baby bro was down for a nap.He loves to dump in the ingredients after they are carefully measured out, and every now and then is so excited about it he dumps it somewhere other than the pan or bowl we are using. I love that my three year old helps make things and doesn't just wait for me to do it. He even cleans up when we are done, with a bit of help but he does it none the less! 
We used this recipe and it came out great, there are a lot of play dough recipe's I'm not a fan of due to smell or texture. Especially when salt is involved and it makes the play dough extra grainy. This one however was smooth as could be and was perfect for little hands to manipulate. We have a few sculpting tools (real materials so a child learns to respect them) and of course an array of utensils were used from fondue forks to the rolling pin. And what would playing with play dough be if it didn't include a volcano finally. (word to the wise if your out of white vinegar, red wine vinegar barely does the trick.) And watch your kids when they add food color, someone wasn't paying attention and another someone added more than half the bottle of liquid green. Needless to say my hands look like they belong to Shrek.
Ingredients needed:
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tarter
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • food coloring
  • 1 cup flour

When in this process you allow your kids to assist is entirely up to you.  Younger children can mix dry ingredients, older kids can stir (supervised) at the stove top, and adding food coloring is fun for everyone.  My son is under two, so he mainly helps me with the “playing” part.  Please supervise your children and use caution with the stove and hot dough. Combine all ingredients (except food coloring) in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir over medium heat until smooth.  Stir continuously until the dough balls (about 1-2 minutes).  Remove from heat.
When dough is cool enough to handle, knead until smooth. Form into a ball. Divide into as many colors as you’d like to make.  A single batch makes a good amount for four colors  Add food coloring to the divided dough.  Gel food coloring works quite well.  I have not tried liquid food coloring. Knead the food coloring into the dough. To protect your counter top, knead over wax paper.  To protect your hands, wear plastic or rubber gloves, if you have them (you could also put the dough and food coloring inside a ziplock bag and have the kids squish it around inside). When the dough is a consistent color, ball and set aside. Repeat with the rest of your colors.
Put the dough in separate containers.  Toddler-sized snack containers are a good size, and I have also wrapped the colors individually in wax paper and stored in zip-lock baggies. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.  It will stay soft for several weeks if stored airtight.

Mothers Day

I am super excited for Mothers Day. Whats better than a day to celebrate the amazing women who give up everything to take care of, love, and devote themselves to someone else their whole lives through? Motherhood is such an amazing gift, whether you conceive naturally or adopt it's the most amazing process. I love how much my boys love me (they are still young enough for me to be awesome in their eyes) I'm excited to celebrate and honor all the women who have made such a difference in my life whether it was raising me, or just teaching me how to be a better mom. My mother, my grams, my sisters, my MIL, SIL's, aunts, and even my amazing friends have all taught me so much. I get to begin everyday (way too early I might add) loving my boys. Even everyday tasks can be such a wonderment to them it makes everything more fun. For mothers day we are giving all our sisters and our amazing Mom's bird nest necklaces, and at the moment who knows what else our mothers will be receiving (besides pictures of the boys since no one has any!) As part of my mothers day I am getting a gift I couldn't be more excited about. Personalized journals to fill up with for my boys. I saw the idea on pinterest, and can't find it again but it's a fantastic one. I wish I had started the moment I found out I was pregnant but those aren't things you forget so they'll still be in there. I want to fill them with how I met their awesome Daddy, what I thought when I found out they were pregnant, the first ultrasound, the first glance, and every moment that stands out to me for good or bad. We have always tried to instill in our boys that no matter what they do they are loved. No bad action can outweigh the love we have for them. These journals won't be just for the best moments, I want them to have all sorts of moments. Maybe when they read them (I plan on giving them to them when they move out but maybe as I fill them up they'll get them, or maybe when they find out their having kids of their own) they will know that even when things were bad I was still 100% there. Even when they think I know nothing. (As a mother now I can't believe I went through that stage, my parents really did know what they were talking about. Hope they don't read this ;) )
Aren't these beautiful! They aren't this fuzzy, Blurb would only let me copy a low res file. Each one is letters to.... (sorry other bloggers paranoia is rubbing off)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Surprisingly (to me anyways) Simplicity Parenting 's tip to limit our material items is coming across a lot harder than I expected. I have gotten rid of a third of the boys toys at present. And still have a box full of plastic goodness I just can't seem to rid myself of. However we now have enough space for a more proper Montessori set up. All of our low down shelves have been set up for activities to enhance and enrich our boys. Books have been sorted into non fiction and fiction to give them a better base in what reality is, and what an amazing thing imagination is! Quiet a few of the activities are for little little, I need to work on more for Big Little, at present he has sand paper letters, a nature basket with magnifying glass, shell baskets, paint supplies (brushes and sponges to paint with and paper and shells for mediums) and a few number exercises. Not all in one place (simplify right) Each room we spend part of the day in has an activity that if he so chooses he can work on. Our main thing we need to work on is fostering independence, which is one of the main things I love about Montessori (and is also mentioned in the fantastic book Bringing up Bebe). Simplifying while hard has had some great benefits, especially the one where I have less to clean/convince the boys to clean up.