A List Maker's Life: December 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

So Long 2011

As the year ends, we like to take a look back at the predictions we made on New Year's Day as part of our annual tradition.  We played it pretty safe with many of our predictions as we welcomed 2011, so for the most part we were correct!

However, we did not predict that we would welcome 9 new members into our extended family in 2011.  Nor did we expect to say a difficult "goodbye for now."

Although we are more than happy to say so long to this year, we are also thankful for every day we woke up together, every giggle, every lesson, every milestone, and every unexpected blessing.

Katie's Predictions
~Anne Hope will conquer two-wheel bicycling
And she did on the first day of Kindergarten!

~She will also be talked into trying soccer and will love it
She played Smart Start soccer and is looking forward to giving the team a try in the spring.

~Two of our boys will kick their bad habits
So, we kicked the paci, but found a thumb.  Seriously!

~No shunt for Gabe in 2011 - we are hopeful!
So thankful to say NO SHUNT in ’11!

~Gabe will stand unassisted by next Christmas
He is so close.  Holds on to something one handed and cruises his way around our living room.

~Sarah Palin: All hype with no follow through on a bid for the White House

~Cars Movie 2 will be the talk of the summer for Mr. Gavin
It was a bigger deal for Gibson, but we all enjoyed it.

~Our front yard will eventually see a For Sale sign of it's own
Eventually….although our kids may be teens before then.

~Patience will be tested.
Like with a broken washer, dryer, dishwasher, tub, kitchen sink, truck, and more.

~Insanity will be too insane and will collect dust on the shelf
After 9 months of dust collecting we were just searching for it…so a friend could borrow it;)

~Hours will be wasted on You Tube and Facebook that would better be spent on Twitter...just sayin'

Kevin's Predictions
~Under the direction of a new coach, Hope's basketball team will finish barely above 500.
Hope’s basketball team actually did fantastic under their new leadership

~Gas prices will hit 4.50
Pretty close during the summer, but thankfully prices are in the $3 range now.

~Republicans will put forth an African American candidate for president
Yeah, and now we all know how that worked out – yikes!

~Lions make the playoffs
Wow, a Christmas Eve miracle!

~Tigers make the playoffs
So fun to watch!!
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

{a little gift for you, I thought it was to adorable to resist}

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cherish Hope

hope is a conversation
hope is a promise
hope is a dream
hope is a wish
hope is a river
my hope is built on nothing less
everything rides on hope now
hope is rising
hope is found
hope is an anchor
hope is whsipering

Hope is born!

Happy Christmas Eve.

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Mipsy on the Move - day 24

Me: Who ate the last 2 cookies?
Gibson: Mipsy did!

Kevin: Where did the batteries for the remote go?
Anne Hope: Mipsy took them.

Hmmm...now the elf has become the scapegoat.

The Mipster looks more than happy to hop aboard the fast train out of town - with no plans to return until next December! {Riding the coal train.  Ironic?  I think not!}

Chugga, chugga, choo, choo
Merry Christmas to you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Quiet Boxes

The quiet boxes we put together for this week were a bit more like a learning center in a box than the typical free exploration I have been going for with the idea.  Still, they were a perfect diversion for the older two while the babes got their much needed naps this week!  I will admit that I looked forward to playing the quiet box activities with Gavin and Anne Hope just about as much as I looked forward to nap time.

{Christmas Trivia Cards & a Lite Brite Tree counting game}

To play the game, each child had a dish of  Lite Brite colored pegs (we counted out 30 each for each game).  On each turn they rolled the dice and put that many lights on their tree.  The first person to empty their bowl was the winner.

{Puzzles cut out of Christmas cards, puzzleball, and Catch the Gingerbread Man Game}

{action shot - Catch the Gingerbread Man}

We also played this game in reverse.  Each player started with 5 gingerbread men and the first player to find a place for each of their men on the grid was the winner.

The Puzzleball brought on an amazing show of cooperation - which was otherwise rare in our house this week.
{Christmas finger puppets, pattern block Christmas designs, sorting trees}

The matching tree activity is more age appropriate for Gibson.  We used the colorful trees to play a Christmas version of Spoons.  The large trees were the spoons and the little trees were the cards we passed and matched.

On Monday we went to the Critter Barn Live Nativity; no one had their rest time.  However, our Monday box was stuffed with filler activities that we have pulled out whenever a distraction is needed.  Today we made Gingerbread Glyphs and took turns reading and telling our own gingerbread stories.

Gavin is also working on a Christmas Tree Coordinate Graphing Page.

If there is any time tomorrow I have the Roll a Reindeer game printed and ready to try!

Christmas is one of those times when there are far more clever ideas I would love to try than there is time for actually doing them!

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Setting the Christmas Table

My mom taught me to appreciate a special table for a special occasion.  Seeing the way she has creatively decorated her dining area on our birthdays and holidays is a highlight of the meal.  She pays attention to place cards and distractions for the little ones at the table, and table favors are almost always a part of the ambience.  It is lovely.

In the past we have had a party with extended family on Christmas Eve.  This year we celebrated with them {and another beautiful table} earlier in December, so we are excited to plan a special Christmas Eve in our own home with our immediate family.

I would like to see the Christmas Eve meal be colorful, playful, and kid friendly - you know Birthday Party, Night Before Christmas, Visions of Sugar Plums-ish. I am thinking of filling various sized tall vases with red and green M&Ms, candy canes, and lollipops for our centerpiece.  My inspiration for this dinner party came from a video tutorial Kris put together a couple years ago.

Here are the paper products we have to work with for Christmas Eve...

On the contrast I would like to set a fancier, holly and ivy type, table for our Christmas morning brunch.
Here are some of the pieces I have to work with, but I am still on the hunt for a focal point in the center of the table.

The simplicity of the holly leaf place cards from Martha Stewart would work well with the paper products I have chosen.

Flowers always make a beautiful table, right? Although, my first instinct with flowers for Christmas would be the traditional Poinsettia,

I really prefer the look of this bouquet featuring redberries, crysanthumums, and roses.

I don't suppose any businesses are making last minute Christmas Eve flower deliveries???

Do you host a Christmas meal in your dining room?  Tell me about your table.
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Dressing my Guys for the Holidays

 While picking out clothes for Anne Hope is delightful, it is a team venture.  The boys on the other hand pretty much give me complete control in the outfit building department.  With three boys in our home we have tubs and tubs of boys clothing labeled by size and season.   It is rare that Gabe gets something brand new to him, but I still do enjoy browsing online for the latest and greatest trends for handsome baby boys!
{Gabe, Christmas 2011}
{Gabe, Christmas Party 2011}
{Gibson, Christmas 2009}

I must admit I was a little disappointed that Gabe's waistline was a bit too Santa-like to wear this cute matchy, matchy outfit.
This casual striped tee from the Highland Holiday collection looks like it would be a cute shirt for our two littlest guys to share.
 {Gavin, Christmas 2009}

{Gibson, Christmas 2010}
{Gavin, Christmas 2010}

I guess Gavin and Gibson haven't grown much this year since both of them have already encored the shirts from the two previous pictures at our December '11 Christmas gatherings. Gavin's black sweater was a bit snug this year, I wish I would have seen the Kimono sweater below earlier in the season!

While I think it is great to see the guys all dressed up in their fancy clothes, my favorite of all their outfits are the snuggly, ready to cuddle by the tree, Christmas jammies!
  {Gabe, Christmas 2010}

{Gavin, Christmas 2009}

As tradition would have it, I am really looking forward to seeing the boys model their yet to be opened 2011 Christmas pjs tomorrow night!

What is your favorite shop for handsome, and somewhat unique, clothing for boys?

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Mipsy on the Move - day 23

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mipsy on the Move - day 22

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wishing, Imagining, Creating { with a Rapunzel Hair How To}

While I have nothing against the kids writing wish letters to Santa, it is not something I encourage or set aside special time for.  {We do set aside time after Christmas to write a Santa thank you note and tuck it in our Letters to Santa pillow} In the past, Gavin has written a list that he hangs on the fridge, but an actual letter to Santa with an envelope and a strong desire to get it in the mail as soon as possible...not until Anne Hope.  She is just learning to write and feeling empowered by it for sure.  She wrote a special letter I wish I would have made a copy of before she rushed it out to the mailbox with a self drawn stamp and a large print To Santa: North Pole on the front.  I did sneak a peek at her letter though and after reading it I couldn't help but want to rush out and buy all three simple pleasures that she listed!

Dear Santu,
I hav bin very good this yer
For Crismis I wood like princs colring pagus. a Santu hat. Rapunzl har.
Love, Anne Hope

I was especially excited to put together the Rapunzel hair.  I have seen a few tutorials around the web for making these golden locks.  My goal was to find instructions that would cover her hair {not just a clip on braid} and not require any sewing.  In the end I created my own version of Rapunzel hair attached to a chunky head band.

Head band
2 skeins of soft, fuzzy yellow yarn
pink ribbon
pink silk flowers

To begin, I set two heavy objects on each end of our 8 foot rug.  I walked back and forth between the two posts looping the yarn around the ends.  After stretching out all of the yarn, I used a small piece of left over yarn to tie it all together in the middle.  Once tied I began to cut off the looped pieces at each end.  When all of the yarn was cut into individual strands I picked up the whole deal by the middle.

The spot in the middle where I tied it served as the part, which I arranged on the headband and glued down.

I put the head band on my own head and tied the yarn into a loose, long ponytail.  Next it was time to braid.  Separating the yarn into three large, untangled {easier said than done} bundles I braided them and tied it off with one last piece of yarn at the bottom.

The ribbon and flowers are an optional add on, but I enjoyed decorating the braid by gluing in some pink and purple flowers.

I am pretty excited with the way it turned out and can't wait for Anne Hope to open this special surprise.

Do you have any special gifts you are looking forward to giving this Christmas?
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Mipsy on the Move - day 21


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas at the top of my lungs!

Our kids are beyond worked up with the Christmas spirit
...or the pre-Santa jitters
...or the pleasesomeonesaveme whininess.

It was so noisy in mi casa today.  I attended three jump-on-the-bed jam sessions and had to catch the rocking out on video to be sure Kevin didn't totally miss out.  I'll spare your ears by not posting the video.  I'm quite sure that every mom {or nanny} reading has already had their own share of noise today.

Oh, and they dance around all day with bells on the end of their elf hats. Of course.

Even our quiet time box wasn't very quiet.  Yet, it was fun to watch Gavin and Anne Hope work together to measure ribbon, organize them by size, and make trees.  When they finished their quiet box they worked together to dream up a design for a manger scene mural and to decide on the best materials for putting it together.  We'll have to glue some big rocks to our paper because the manger was really a giant stone you know.

Gabe discovered the stairs to Gavin and Anne's room today.  I happened to be up there the first time he proudly shouted Mom!  He was already up the first seven steps.  My first instinct was to freak and scramble behind him to prevent a fall, which probably would have caused a fall.  Thankfully I bit my tongue and reached out to help him up the last few stairs so he didn't lose concentration.  He was pretty pleased with his accomplishment and much of the afternoon was spent moving him away from the stairs.  With the other kids at this stage I may have been slightly irritated by the constant redirection, but seriously! this movement will be celebrated, not grumbled about. When not racing for the stairs, Gabe is climbing up the couch to lookit the pretty gils {a.k.a. mommy's special angels}.

Oh, and all the diapers were in the dryer just when he was in need of a change. Of course. The rest of the kids thought the monster truck undies were pretty hilarious.

Cue hysterical laughing
A perfect segue to another noisy song.
Of course.

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Mipsy on the Move - day 20

{stocking acrobatics}

Monday, December 19, 2011

Felt Flower Headband {How to}

After posting some pictures this fall of Anne Hope wearing a felt flower headband several friends asked for instructions on how to make the flowers.  I am quite certain that with a little Google searching you might find a tutorial video with much better quality recording and lighting, but here is my attempt to show you how I made our hair pretties.

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{Looking forward to seeing pictures of your beautiful N wearing felt flowers in her hair Sara;)}

Mipsy on the Move - day 19

{couch elf}

Dress Up

With three boys in the house it is a special pleasure to shop for a daughter.

Anne Hope loves a great outfit. Our many Christmas celebrations this month have given her great opportunity to modeling her pretties.

Although we typically lean toward traditional red & green when choosing holiday outfits, this year Anne Hope has also looked sweet in a festive lime green, pink, and gray outfit.

She has some seriously adorable options, if you ask me. However, I have still been eyeing some other cute dresses from the Tea Collection selection of girls dresses.  The fall 2011 Tea Collection, which includes holiday party outfits, is called Modern Mexico.  Contemporary Mexican folk art, florals, plaids, textures, and embroidery are combined in the colorful and festive designs of this collection.  I am especially drawn to this red and pink combo.

The Paso del Tiempo Dress looks like it could easily be dressed up or down according to occasion, and it looks comfortable.

I also like the Marimba mini dress.  It looks like a piece that would work well with some of the coordinating pieces already found in Anne Hope's closet.

Whether or not we buy any new dresses for this year's holiday wardrobe, it sure is fun to take them for a try on twirl!
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