Sunday, December 27, 2009


Saturday we thought we would head to ZooLights on a day that it wasn't raining...
instead of rain we got long lines and freezing weather.
Good, cold adventures!

Sela is bundled up!

Quinn, Ryan, and Sela in the stroller in front of the train light display at ZooLights

Blurry self-portrait...I am so cold!

The Wizard of Oz light display as we wait in line to ride the train

Quinn and Ryan looking at the lights as we ride on the train

We made it! Through long lines in 32 degree weather!
We're ready to go home and get WARM!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quinn as Mickey

The other night Quinn showed up in the kitchen like this...

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Scale: Part II

In the weight loss saga, five more pounds have been lost since Thanksgiving.

I hope I don't find them for Christmas :)

16 pounds to go!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Putting Together the Advent Calendar

I would never describe myself as crafty. I'm overwhelmed by the idea of making cute things and I GREATLY admire people who thrive on making cool stuff. I put something together every so often but it has to be an idea that really connects to me in order to pull out the hot glue gun and hit the scrapbook aisle. Making the Advent Calendar was one idea that snowballed. I thought I'd share how simple it is to do and where the idea came from.

I had been looking in a Pottery Barn catalog and saw a large neutral colored calendar that had large tags pinned to it with each day numbered until Christmas. They had hung ornaments on each pin with the idea that you'd hang their cool ornaments on each day until you got to Christmas. I really liked the calendar--it was really simple and the tags were cool, but I didn't want to hang ornaments. I had been thinking of a way to do Advent and to mark each day until Christmas and the idea of doing words in place of the ornaments came to mind. I love words and it is a great way to have conversations about Jesus and why we are preparing for Christmas.

On to how I made the calendar...I wrote out how I did this two years ago but I don't know how to link to it :) I revamped it a bit this year and originally had each day of December on it but because Advent started in November I needed to add some squares to it and remove the numbers so here is how it stands now:

1. I picked up foam board (big enough to fit 4 rows of 7 4x4 squares), fabric to cover the board, staples, pins with little colored balls on the end (they're a little nicer to look at), 4x4 scrapbook adhesive squares (you can peel the backing off the square and stick them on), ribbon to hang the board, some sturdy paper for printing words, thin ribbon to attach to the back of the words so they can hang on the pins.

2. I covered the foam board with the fabric and stapled it on the back so it was snugly covered. I stapled ribbon on to the back to use to hang the calendar on the wall.

3. I put the squares into four rows and arranged them the way I wanted then peeled off the backings and stuck them to the board.

4. I stuck a pin at the top of each square.

5. I chose words to use for each day, typed them all with different fonts, and then printed them out. I cut each one out and then used the small thin ribbon to make into a loop and then tape to the back of the word. I keep all the words in an envelope and Quinn chooses a word from it. Here are the words I chose (but I need to add two more words):

hope, peace, joy, love, Jesus, Immanuel, Advent, sacrifice, truth, patience, forgiveness, belief, family, Holy Spirit, help, grace, salvation, resurrection, life, thanksgiving, praise, worship, glorify, faithful, mercy

Each Sunday has a big word we talk about and read verses with (1st Hope, 2nd Peace, 3rd Joy, 4th Love, and Christmas Day is Jesus).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Is this scale broken?

All of the maternity clothes have been washed and packed away--I have a box of loaned clothes in my car just ready to be returned. I finally had my six week follow up appointment. It was six weeks late but that is a whole other story.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, even my maternity clothes weren't fitting and I hadn't really thought about how.much.weight.I.gained.

Ummmm...I was so surprised to really


So. I had to think--do I really want to blog about this and I think the answer is--yes.

At my appointment I found out what my final weight was--a few pounds less than I had thought but holy.smokes.

What I do know is that I've lost 24 pounds and have 21 pounds to go. More will be lost and I'll be happy to report it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Breakfast for dinner

While Ryan has evening class once a week, I always make breakfast for dinner. This week it was delicious pancakes. Mickey Mouse and Snowmen.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Looking for a Routine

I've been sick for the last three weeks: bronchitis and a sinus infection. I'm eager to feel better. I think I'm feeling better. I have so many things I want to be doing but don't have the energy to complete a lot of it. In all of my thinking and "list-ing" I'm trying to establish a better routine for our family.

A blog I like to read is The Homespun Heart and last week she focused on Home--cleaning, caring for, and decluttering. I really enjoy what she shares and I'm ready to tackle my own lists as I get more energy.

I was able to plan out our dinner menu for the next two weeks which made me feel good. I'm in the process of putting together a new weekly routine for cleaning the house and getting the laundry done. I want to be intentional about including Quinn in helping around the house--he loves to help! I also want to plan some special activities for Quinn so we can have fun together, learn some new things, and he won't be bored! I think this will alleviate some parenting challenges which is a whole other discussion!

I'm excited to feel better and ready to show a little love on the homefront.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holly Jolly Christmas

After Thanksgiving we started a new family tradition--and it is fun to start traditions as a little family of four! Friday morning I made chocolate chip scones which were delicious and Ryan made us coffee. We all had a yummy breakfast together, turned on the Christmas music, and decorated the house.

Quinn and Ryan put some lights outside along our walkway and the nativity scenes, stockings, candles, and snowmen made the rounds inside.

We cleared the way for our tree which we got on Saturday! We headed out to a tree farm in Dundee that was selling noble firs for $5 each--U Pick, they cut! We walked through their farm at dusk and got just the right tree for our house.
Quinn and I decorated the Christmas tree--I decorated the top and he decorated the bottom (there are a lot of candy canes on the bottom)!

At Sunday School Quinn made a little clay Advent wreath and we've been able to light a little candle and read a verse these last two Sundays. Our Advent calendar is up and each day Quinn chooses a word to hang up. We get to talk about what the word means (like "mercy") and Quinn looks forward to hanging it up.