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Monday, October 31, 2011

{November Challenge} Bless someone today.

I can't believe it's November TOMORROW! So I spent some time thinking this morning about different ways and people to bless every day in the month of November.  I put together a calendar but basically it's this schedule:

Sundays - church leaders
Mondays - special friends locally
Tuesdays - extended family members (SILs, grandparents, etc)
Wednesdays - teachers, including AWANA and Sunday school teachers, tutors, mentors, or even your regular babysitter
Thursdays - your immediate family members (kids and husband). write each of them a letter, saying the things you love and appreciate about each of them
Fridays - community members
Saturdays - friends far away

You can add variety by doing notes, making cookies, putting together small gifts, coloring pictures, or you could even take a friend out to lunch! Try to get the kids involved in as many of them as possible, and bless those around you!

You can DOWNLOAD THE CALENDER HERE and then write your own names on it.  The text is a tad pixely (sp?), but that's the best I could do with the calendar I found!  Yes, it's quite a bit of work and time to follow through, but something I hope I can do and I guarantee it would be worth the time!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Family Fun: Fall Scavenger Hunt

Hannah's preschool teacher asked my friend Nikki and I to organize a fall scavenger hunt for families to come and do together.  I wish I could show you pictures of the event but it's not until next week and fall is ending soon and I wanted to get this post up so you could maybe USE it!  Me and my Type A, chart-loving self decided it would be fun for kids/families to not only find items but examine them as well, filling out a chart as they go with details including color, texture, measurements, and so forth, trying to include all the senses if possible.  And since this is a family event, I want the scavenger hunt to somehow MAKE something in the end, as a way to preserve the memory of doing that activity together. So most of the items will get used to make a fall mobile afterward.  We are going to set up the string and other supplies so families can make their mobiles THERE, otherwise they're probably more likely to take their stuff home and then forget about it.  Here is the scavenger hunt list, DOWNLOAD HERE (there is a little more than what's pictured here).

And here is a picture of what your mobile will sort of look like!
I'm excited!  I think it will be fun for the kids!  Let me know if you do it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Meanderings - Oct. 24

Bible Study...  Week 5 lessons of No Other Gods,

Memory Verse...  Philippians 4:8
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Bake some goodies for him to share at work.
♥ Date with him on Saturday! Gotta figure out what exactly our plans are.

Train Them Up...
* AWANA verses.
* Family fun day on Friday.  Kevin will be off and Eli has fall break from school. I'm thinking children's museum since we have a couple more months til our membership expires.
* Spelling work with Eli. And help him write a letter to his pen pal.

Personal Goals...
- Early bedtimes.  I'm just so tired.
- Drink more water.

New Habit of the Month...  {october} Rise early. 30 minutes is too short but 45 minutes of quiet time is just about perfect. I had a terrible time getting up at all last week, hence the need for earlier bedtime.

MUST Do... 
* The boys' clothes are packed away. Now time to tackle some 3T girls stuff.
* Starck and Brown photos to CD.

Zone(s)... laundry

Menu -
M - we'll probably just pick something up since I'll just be finishing photos
T - meatballs
W - toasted sandwiches
Th - hamburgers
F - couples game night
S - Omaha
Su -

* Photoshoot today for the Martin family.
* Conference at our church tomorrow.
* Early out and parent-teacher conferences for Eli on Thursday.
* No school Friday. That night we're hosting a couples game night!
* Going to Omaha on Saturday so Kevin and I go on a date.
* Singing at church on Sunday.

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. BEAUTIFUL fall weather.
2. An afternoon with Paul and Holly last Saturday. It went way too fast!!!
3. Discovering secret spots! Been doing a lot of scouting around, searching for new photo spots!

Photography: The Starck Family

My friend Nikki had family visiting and she wanted me to take some family pics for them. So I did!  Just a mini session, it was pretty chilly and Lucas just wanted to go back inside to play with his cousins.  =)

same pose, different angle

And I try to do couples pics as a part of every photoshoot, whether you'd asked for it or not. Consider it a gift from me to you.  Most couples haven't really had pictures done of them since their wedding or engagement.  And it's important to still view yourselves as a COUPLE. So here are Jennifer and Kai:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hair cut!!

After I took my BEFORE pic this morning I was doubting again whether I really wanted to chop it, but I took in my inspiration pics, MY previous hair pics and talked with the stylist about what I liked and what I haven't liked before and she went to work!  And I LOVE it!  It feels so fresh again!  And I'm excited to play around with different "looks" with it!  And I'm SUPER excited to be able to DO it every day because it will take no time at all!!!

longest in the front and angled to the back. love it!!

Photography: Maternity

My friend Kayleigh has her baby shower in a couple weeks and she'd asked if I'd take a few maternity pics before then so she could display them at her shower.  Her professional photo shoot with her hubby and everything is after the shower so this was a mini-session, but we had fun.  Kayleigh is GORGEOUS and she's older than 3 so we very cooperative.  =)  I really enjoy photoshoots that don't require me acting like a complete doofus!  =)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Get in the picture.

This is one of the links that I came across on Pinterest today, and I actually clicked over to the article to read.  Definitely got me thinking.  Does this sound familiar to you too??

“Yes, honey, I was there, too. I was just the one taking the pictures.”
Is that the way you want your children to remember you? As the ghost in the frame? We all talk about how important it is to document life, to capture memories for our families, to have a visual history of the day-to-day because the years are fleeting. Well, I have news for you: you’re a part of that. You need to be in pictures.
So you don’t like to have your photo taken, huh? I don’t, either. Get over your vanity. I say that lovingly. Take a shower, put on a little makeup, throw on that shirt you love but never wear because you’re afraid someone will wipe his little ketchup smeared face on your shoulder. This goes way beyond pictures – when you feel good about the way you look, your whole attitude changes for the better. Take care of yourself. Or don’t. Maybe you don’t have time to blow dry your hair today. Your children don’t care. What they will care about is that they can see what their mom looked like at 25/35/45/55, that she played with them, that she gazed at them lovingly, that she laughed with them … capture that for them. We need more than just the memories. We need pictures. You know that better than anybody. Stop making excuses.

Read the rest of the post and you can learn 13 tips for family self-portraits.  Some of it's more posey than what I like if you're just trying to remember yourself as part of a memory but still the point is very valid: get in the picture, preserve that memory for your children.

Alright, ladies I have a challenge for you!  I hope you participate!  Take a picture of YOU doing something with the kids and post it to your blog.  And link up below so we can see!  It's been so long since I've really been in a picture, so I'm kind of excited.  I'll add mine to this post once I take it.  What do ya say? Are you IN??

Playroom Makeover, Part 2

So I didn't like the green.  So instead I chose gray.  GRAY??!  For a playroom?  How gloomy!  I didn't even know exactly what I was going to put with it, but once we got it on the walls I loved it.  It looks so nice with the dark wood trim throughout and now the black art frames POP.  I pictured using gray for when this room is no longer a playroom and can actually be used for something adult-like again, but not for a playroom.  And then a couple weeks later I decided to start looking at curtain options again.  Still looking mostly at fabric shower curtains-- just because they're exactly the right size for our wide windows, usually come in fun prints and colors, and are sometimes cheaper than regular curtains--I found what I wanted!  I was looking for something that included green, red, and blue, since those are the colors of our toy bins.  And looky how it all comes together!

view with curtains closed

book nook.  Yes, that's a doggie bed purchased specifically for this. Why not?
And now for the tour:
1 = Kids Art
2 = Behind the door are hooks for the kids' church and AWANA bags
3 = Large toys like stacking blocks, stacking rings, and farm animals
4 = Dress-up/pretend play
5 = Trio blocks
6 = Legos
7 = Cars and Trucks
8 = Bucket of balls
9 = Puzzles
10 = People/Figurine toys
11 = Book nook
12 = "Where our friends live" / U.S. map, small pictures placed of our friends

13 = Calendar (we like to cross off the days and see how soon 'til fun events are coming up)
14 = Crate FULL of workbooks and coloring books (the green bin on top is full markers and crayons, etc)
15 = Paper/Construction Paper
16 = Misc craft supplies like pom poms, stickers, glitter, pipe cleaners, etc
17 = Completed lapbook folders
18 = Play dough
20 = Misc stuff, like lacing cards, puzzle cards, bead strings
21 = Play kitchen stuff
22 = World map in which we'll include pictures about places we've learned about or future World Vision/Compassion kids we sponsor

 The blue basket in the corner holds all the kids' music instruments and scarves for dancing.  If I decide to keep the bookshelves over where they are, then I picture finding a small wooden round table, and painting it lime green for this corner. (the kids already have their own chairs to use for it). We used to have the coffee table in the playroom.  It's a perfect color match. BUT pushed against the wall the kids ALWAYS piled stuff on it or pushed stuff over the back edge of it.  So now it's a coffee table in the living room again.

I've always tried to create book corner, setting the kids' little chairs right next to the book shelves. But this time I REALLY created a corner.  The books don't get put AWAY as well, but it seems to be a well-loved space!  And in the end, that's what is more important!

 Note, this messy state is what the playroom NORMALLY looks like!  =)