Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Top Ten

10. we voted - but we all know how that ended.
9. we partied - a seven year old, six year old, and a two year old
8. home school clubs were joined - The girls have both joined two clubs this year, Keepers and American Girl Club.
7. teeth were lost - Bella finally lost her first tooth.
6. Vegetables sprouted - We grew tons of veggies, including green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, jalapenos, and squash.  Nom Nom.
5. tubes were installed - Read had to get tubes in his ears to relieve him of his chronic ear infections.
4. Pianos were played - Both girls began piano lessons with Miss Ashley.  They have a real gift, but maybe I am biased.
3. new rides were purchased.  We outgrew our Honda accord and had to take advantage of our two car garage.  I'm now a mad mom in a minivan.
2. a one year old took his first steps.  And wow, that changed everything!
1. A baby boy was born-  On August 7th, our family grew to six.  Our sweet bundle of joy has blessed our family greatly.

Friday, December 28, 2012

homemade C-mas: woodblock picture frames

This is my favorite gift I gave, I wish I could take credit for it, but I copied it from a gift Anna gave me a few Christmases back.  I purchased a 2x8 piece of lumber, it was not as high of a grade as I used for the grandmother's wall hangings.  Ben cut the boards into 7" squares (confusion alert: why is it a 2x8, if it is only seven inches wide?)
We then painted the blocks a chocolate brown and roughed up the edges to give them an antique look.  I modge podged scrapbook paper cut into 6 3/4" squares. To do this, put a very thin layer of modge podge on the front of your woodblock, then adhere the paper square.  When it is dry add another very thin layer of modge podge.  It is key to use very little adhesive or your paper will bubble up.  
I purchased magnetic bulldog binder clips  from Office Depot and removed the magnet.  You can hot glue your binder clip, but Ben screwed my into the wood to make it last longer and so the binder would lay flat.  
I added embellishments including clear scrapbook stickers with words like miracles, Believe and Cherish.  As I asking the clerk to cut my "stringy stuff" (as described by Ben) that I found in the upholstery aisle, I noticed two coordinating pieces of Tiffany blue paisley and chevron remnants that I had her cut into 1/4 yards for me.  I cut the remnants into 1 1/2" strips and then tied the two pieces together with a small knot.  I hot glued the upholstery embellishments across the top and then hot glued the knotted fabric bow to the top.  
I loved how they turned out.  I plan to make myself a set of four to hang on the wall to easily change out pictures of my kiddos.  I may have to stash a few in my gift closet for future birthday gifts.  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

homemade C-mas: Grandparent's sign

Ben made this sign for Gigi, Granny and Mimi for their C-mas presents.  I purchased a 1x10 piece of pine and Ben cut it into three equal sections of 32 inches each.  He then sanded, painted the wood with an acrylic paint, and went back and beveled the edges and roughed up the paint to give it an antique look.
I purchased the black decal at Hobby Lobby when their wall decals were half-priced.
I decorated miniature clothespins by adding tiny buttons with my glue gun.  I then attached the clothespins eight inches apart, leaving two inches outside the two outer clothes pins.  I think they turned out better than I had even imagined.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

homemade C-mas: marshmallow shooters

This Christmas I tried to go as homemade as I could with our gifts.  One, our birthday gift budget cut into our C-mas budget this year with all of the parties my socialites were invited too.  Two, with the addition of pinterest into our lives I was feeling more domesticated and three, the hustle and bustle of Christmas has my stomach turning this year and I just wanted it to mean more.  I hope everyone enjoyed their gifts b/c they are things I would have enjoyed.
First up on the list were the kids' gifts.  We made marshmallow shooters for the cousins.  Pink for the girls and blue for the boys.  Ben and I enjoyed them so much after we made them for our nephews, we knew we had to make them for the girls too.  So, our kiddos and the nieces got one too.
For a ten feet piece of 1/2" PVC pipe was $1.68, and we could get 4 guns out of a pipe.  The stoppers were 38 cents each and each gun needed two.  The T-connectors and the L-connectors came in packages of ten each and they were $2.58.  Can of spray paint was $3.58.  So for $2.40 a piece we made each kiddo a gun, add in a package of $1.50 miniature marshmallows and instant fun!

To make your own gun, you will first need to cut your PVC into 6 equal pieces of four inches and then one six inch section.  The six inch section is for the barrel of the gun.  Add your connectors according to the picture, load your mini marshmallow and AIM.  Happy Shooting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kid free weekend

On our anniversary weekend, we met my parents in San Antonio so we could celebrate our anniversary sans kiddos.  The original plan was for Ben and I to drive to New Orleans for a weekend of Cajun gluttony.  We decided to use our anniversary savings to pay off some medical bills instead.  Yes, being responsible sometimes sucks.  So, we decided to try new places instead of doing one nice anniversary meal.
We took the new toll to San Antonio which is supposed to be this enormous time saver, which it could be if they hadn't taken us half an hour to the east of town past Seguin, if you are going to northwest SA this is very, very far out of the way.  It also helps if you update your tomtom every once in a while.
Ben had Thursday and Friday off so we thought we'd go to the zoo, but it was too chilly.  Because of our detour we ran out of time and decided on ice cream cones and walking Bass Pro Shop, which the girls said was the coolest store they had ever been in.  After we met up with Mimi, Ben and I headed to Dough.  Ok, if you have not tried this place in San Antonio, run there right now.  Oh my.   It was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  I think I could have licked the plate clean.  Get the mozzarella truffle, unless you are lactose intolerant and even if you are, get it anyways it was worth every bit of pain and every calorie you will have to work off.
On Friday, we spent the day gathering supplies for all of our Christmas projects and we spent the evening in catching up on tv.  On Saturday, we decided to try another recommendation by Guy, but it did not pass our apparently snotty taste buds.  We drove to SoCo for an Austin icon, the Magnolia cafe.  Was not impressed at all.  Blah.  I had a bell pepper and red onion with a side of omelet and Ben had a pasta dish that was made with canned olives, canned artichokes and mediocre sun dried tomatoes.  If I am eating at an Austin icon, I expect fresh.  This was not.  The short stack was good, but anything drenched in syrup is going to be good.  I wanted amazing.
We had a great weekend of us time.  Looking forward to the next year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

a nice warning

Thank you my darling, but in the time you took to make me this warning sign, couldn't you have just cleaned up the p**p.  -Landry

Monday, December 17, 2012

Silver Sneakers Christmas Party

On Friday night, Ben and I attended the Silver Sneakers Christmas party at the local Y.  I was so surprised when they called me to the stage to present me with a cash gift.  Tish had such nice things to say about me and the other instructors it brought me to tears.  I miss this bunch so much, but I know God is honoring my decision to put our family before my wants.
We had a great night of food, games, and caroling.  Ben and I participated in the Newlywed game, which we came in dead last.

I thought for sure we were going to win.  Some of the questions:
Ben's favorite tv show (the only question we got right) - Person of Interest
Strangest thing in my purse (I don't carry a purse) - Kristi: diapers, Ben: chapstick
2nd Honeymoon choice - Kristi: Italy, Ben: Alaska
Ben's fave meal: Kristi: jambalaya, Ben: salmon
What would Ben buy me at a convenience store: Kristi: Dr. Pepper, Ben: cheetos
Ben's #1 job on my to-do list this weekend: Kristi: make C-mas presents, Ben: find my phone
first kiss: Kristi: friend's house, Ben: my parent's house

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Santa Steve

PawPaw Claus, Uncle Herbie, and now Santa Steve.  The kids are so blessed to know three of Santa's helpers.
I am so blessed to know Jesus' helpers, Steve and Sue.  I met them last year in my aqua class at 24.  I am not sure how we became so well acquainted, but I think it was bicycling on aqua noodles, with him telling me he was a pastor at a near by church.   When I got ready to go on maternity leave Steve was the one who messaged me on FB he needed to meet with me and then surprised me with a baby shower.  Sue, his wife had not been attending classes for a while b/c of an injury and offered to watch HR for me, so I could return to my classes early (childcare is not offered until they are 6 months old).  The first time I went to pay Sue, she refused payment and told me she loved babies and she was getting the better end of the deal.  In that time, we have become fast friends, and they have become like adopted grandparents to our kids especially the boys.  We are so appreciative of all they have done for us.  It is so hard to live in a town without any family, but the Lord has blessed us so greatly by Steve and Sue, Miss Kathi and Miss Sharon this year to help any time we have needed them.  We love all four of you.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

reason for the season

With four kiddos in the house, we don't have very many "nice" things and I try to only have things out they can touch.  (Or at least things I would not be totally devastated if were broken or "messed up".)
My mom gave R2 the little price nativity (top left) last year and he enjoyed it so much we just never put it away.  My manger on the right is one I purchased the year we got married at the after C-mas clearance in downtown Fredericksburg. Mimi gave R2 the Peanuts nativity  for his birthday this year and the nativity on the bottom right is one Ben's boss at the Peach Tree gave us for our wedding.
As I look around at our Christmas decorations I see lots of wedding presents.  I guess that happens when you get married at Christmas time.  We are celebrating our anniversary this weekend while the kids are at my parents.  We enjoyed a Christmas party last night and a day of kid-free shopping and making C-mas presents.  I will post pics later of our adventures and creations.

Friday, December 14, 2012

ornaments 2012

And here is this year's keepsakes ornaments.  Every year we try to pick ornaments that represent the year to add to our tree.  Starting at top left,  Boo got a ballet ornament for her first dance lessons, Mama- diamond ring for our 14 yr anniversary (picked out by Daddy), Daddy - Slave 1 (although I forgot I had bought him this ornament last year, so we have 2), R2 - spaceship - he is is all about vehicles and I thought this one was so too cute to pass up.  Bottom left - Mama - football, b/c apparently all I like is college football according to 2 of my children, LE - piano - for her first piano lessons (Boo got the same ornament), HR - 2012 - year he joined our family.

**Sorry for missing a couple of days of the C-mas challenge, my computer has been re-installing ALL of my photos.  I went to post past pictures of Santa on Tuesday and all of my photos were gone, not in the deleted box and not in picasa.  Ben's blaming it on the 2 year old b/c we cannot find any other explanation and he seems to be the scapegoat for everything else in the house, so why not?!?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 14 years!

Wow, fourteen years.  I don't have friendships that have lasted that long, and yet I have been married for that long!

Happy Anniversary Baby!  I love you.  I cannot imagine a day without you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

big truck party cake

R2 loved his tractor and big truck cake, Mimi.  It turned out better than expected.  She did a black and yellow checkerboard design on the inside with chocolate icing.  The "dirt" was crushed oreos and the rocks were chocolate stones from a baking specialty shop.  She made cones out of orange fondant and R2 picked out trucks from Wal-Mart to add.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Read's truck and tractor birthday party

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, we celebrated R2's second birthday at PawPaw and Mimi's house.  We had a small (well, as small as our two families combined can be) party with cake and presents.  He had such a blast tearing into his cake. Unlike last year when he just cried and cried because he didn't want to get his hands dirty or even try it for that matter.  Mimi made this great chocolate cake.  I am so blessed to have a talented baker in the family.  Thank you everyone who came to make his day special.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

new tradition - 24 days of Christmas reads

I know, I know, I am a bit obsessed with ideas on pinterest.  I cannot help it, there are so many things to do and try.  Must pin all things!
I found a fun idea earlier this year, that I have been waiting to do with the kids.  We combined it with gift-wrapping practice and wrapped 24  books to read before Christmas.  I didn't think I had 24 C-mas reads, but I ended up having to leave 8 of them out, if we want to read one a day.  The girls loved wrapping the books and each day we read one during our school day.  Here is a list of our books that are hiding under the tree:
The Polar Express
Twas the Night before Christmas by Jan Brett
Reindeer Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Crippled Lamb
The Christmas Blizzard
Merry Christmas Big Hungry Bear
The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy
The Candymaker's Gift (the legend of the candy cane)
Froggy's Best Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
The Wild Christmas Reindeer 
The Mouse before Christmas
Santa's Favorite Story
One Wintry Night
The Tale of Three Trees
Who is Coming to Our House
Room for a Little One
The Legend of the Candy Cane
If you Take a Mouse to the Movies
The Christmas Promise

Friday, December 07, 2012

update on Leo and Elsa

Oh my gosh, look at the pure joy on Leo's face.  I hope Elsa is just going through typical teenage required response of not wanting her picture taken.  I am so grateful for One Child Matters and their updates on our special "kiddos".
I cannot believe it has been four years since I was in Swaziland and Mozambique.  I heard it said, "Once you go to Africa you will go back every day for the rest of your life".  Going to Africa is still one of the most life changing moments that ever happened to me.  I cannot wait for the day when the Lord tells me it is my turn to go back again.  I miss these faces.
For information on sponsoring a child, you can visit One Child Matters website.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

new friends

I told you about our homeschool friends that live down the street.  Well, we have had a lot of fun with our friends lately, like every day lately.  After school they are out riding bikes, jumping on trampolines, building lego creations, building friendships and starting clubs.  I am so grateful the girls have made such great friends on our street and I kind of like their mom too.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Sunday morning fun

There is no better sound than the sound of your children laughing, giggling, and/or squealing together.  It makes my heart happy.

HR ran a fever all weekend, so we had to stay in this weekend to celebrate R2's.  The kids had fun making tents and tunnels in the classroom.  They literally played for hours, then R2 slept for hours.  Memories being made.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

I have a 2 year old

How is this possible?  I mean, I know how its possible, but where did the time go?  I am thirty-eight years old and I have a two year old.  Our sweet baby boy turns two today.  Please Lord, let him be the exception to the rule, and let one be the obnoxious ones, instead of the terrible twos!
This past year, you learned to walk, but didn't stop there, you ran and ran and ran.  You had to have tubes put in your ears for reoccurring earaches.  You still don't talk much, but you communicate very well.  Your favorite words are PawPaw, juice, toast, shoes, go, car, truck, Bella, Mama, Daddy, Sister, and Pillow.  Your favorite toys are balls, trucks, markers, and playing in your kitchen with Bella.  You are the biggest helper.  You enjoy cleaning up, making bigger messes, unloading the dishwasher, setting the table, making Mommy and Daddy's bed, making your bed, and the clean-up song.  You want to do everything your sisters do, and everything your baby brother gets.  You have a hard time when Mommy holds baby, but you love him so much.  Every time you see him you run to give him kisses.  You love to give out hugs, and tell everyone bye whenever you leave a room.  And you love to "go" in the "car with your "shoes".
We love you so much big brother.  We are so glad God  had bigger plans for our lives when he gave us you.  You bring so much character, joy, and love to our family.  Happy Birthday Read.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

25 days of C-mas challenge

I always take part in Erica's blogging challenge, and I am going to attempt it again this year, but cannot make any promises.  Things are down right busy here at the RFS.
Last night, we watched our C-mas favorite, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  We also read the book and enjoyed Grinch Punch.  We made it with sprite and green sherbet   I attempted to put green sugar on the rims, without much success.  Still tasted yummy.