Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days of Tot Activities: Welcome

I am so very in-over-my-head excited about my first ever 31 days blogging challenge. I've got so many fun ideas to share with you but the thought of posting a blog everyday makes me want to run for cover!

Over the next 31 days I hope to share with you a variety of great tot activities. I have a two year old tot of my own, so I know what a challenge it can be to come up with ideas to keep a little one engaged. My hope is to share with you ideas that are unique, educational, simple and inexpensive. I've got ideas for activities at home and fun field trips (and an idea or two to keep them busy while getting from here-to-there.) Activities for indoors and outdoors, messy activities and clean ones. There will be recommendations for favorite book and toys and some tutorials on how to make your own. I hope to cover all types of learning styles and with the exception of some music recommendations, all of them will be no batteries required, low tech, good old fashioned fun.

I've got plans for printables and at least one give away lined up (but I'm working on more.) I hope you like what you see. I'd be honored if you pin what you like. But mostly, I hope these next 31 days give you the inspiration and motivation to have fun with your tot!

Come back tomorrow for a list of my favorite toddler craft materials!

In Him,

Here are the links to all 31 days....enjoy!
Day 2 
Day 3 
Day 4 
Day 5 
Day 6 
Day 7 
Day 8 
Day 9 
Day 10

Friday, September 14, 2012

{Five Minute Friday} Focus

Today I am linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. So I'm writing for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. The topic this week is Focus...

 “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and don’t mess with Mister In-Between.”

Bing Crosby’s catchy lyrics are all about keeping our focus optimistic and upbeat.  It’s about setting our thoughts on the blessings in our day. How do you prepare your heart to focus on the positive? How do you ready your heart to sing praise for what that the Lord gives each day?
I know my day’s outlook is brighter after a shower and a cup of something warm, before the first cry for milk rings through the house. But the optimism fades quickly, and I find that often, once my hair has air dried into a wavy, cow licked mess and once my forgotten half full mug of tea is really half empty and cold, my sunny outlook gets all clouded over and I get just plain old grouchy.
But, to fill my day with a truly thankful heart that will endure the trials of the day, I must spend those quiet early moments showering  in God’s uplifting presence and drinking in a warm cup of His Word.
As I read through Proverbs 14 today I was struck with the first verse, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Ever a convicting verse, it is a great reminder today of the power we hold as wife and mother.  The focus of our hearts can build up the countenance of those around us with sweet words or tear them down with negativity and complaining. We direct the focus of our day based on the focus of our hearts.  And today I choose, with God help, accentuate the positive and build my home.

Do you need help accentuating the positive today? Have a listen here…I’ve been singing it to my girls all morning long.

In Him,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Charlie Marie is Two

Charlie Marie turned two this weekend and I can hardly believe it. We had such a great time celebrating out sweet first born all weekend long. With lots of family in town and friends joining us for her party it was a busy, busy weekend but we had a blast.

While the guest list was long and required renting tables and chairs for the party (It felt a little silly to me before hand. Rent tables for a second birthday party? Really? But it was totally worth it.) I tried to keep things low key and simple.

I decided to have Charlie make the decorations so we set the table with egg carton flowers and hung some symmetry butterflies in the windows. I loved spending the time to do crafts with her rather than leaving her to play on her own so that I could make elaborate, picture perfect centerpieces and buntings. A few balloons, quick tissue paper pom-poms and some ruffled streamers left over from her first birthday and we were in business.

  Photo by ashleymarietoo 

We served lunch, a taco bar, which went together with very little fuss thanks to my crock pot. Dessert was a bouquet of cupcakes decorated by my sisters-in-law (sister-in-laws?). Anyway, I was so thankful to have them here to help in such a big way.

With two-year-olds I’ve come to find that party games just aren’t worth the trouble so our fun consisted of the swing set and some tubs of play-doh. The big hit of the day however was the huge galvanized tub of ice we kept the drinks in. The kids swarmed the tub, splashing in the water, digging out drinks, eating and throwing chunks of ice until their hands were bright pink and frozen.

We had beautiful weather for playing and having fun in the backyard and, most importantly, I think Charlie felt special and had a great time.

In Him,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy Fall Garland

 While it still feels like pool side popsicle weather over here and fall is still a few weeks away, I am already in the autumn mood. Are you craving all things pumpkin, cozy warm sweaters and hot cider too? Why not get ready for fall with a festive felt garland?

I used a few cookie cutters and a small bowl to trace the shapes onto felt for this sweet little garland. I then followed these simple directions for sewing it together. It was all traced, cut and sewn in about 30 minutes. That's my kind of project!

This one is going to be sent off to a dear friend for her birthday. It makes the perfect little surprise to send in the mail because it is so light weight. I despise paying for shipping...but I don't despise sending little envelopes of fall happiness!

They are so quick, festive and fun so make one for yourself and send one to a friend. And please let me know if you do!

In Him,

I'm linking up here today...