Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas present ideas

Some friends and I have recently been talking about Christmas present ideas and it gave me the idea to do a post on some of my kiddos' favorite toys. Most of these are toys that we've had for a year or more and they still play with almost daily, and many are toys that have been such hits in our house that we've given as gifts to others. In no particular order....

This would probably rank up there as one of Grayson (5 years old) and Emma Claire's (3 years old) favorite toys. They each got one last Christmas, so even as a 2 year old EC loved it. The Plasma Car is the Roller Racer (please tell me y'all had these as a child! My brother and I played with ours for years!) of our kids' generation. Or decade. Whatever. Anyway, it's a battery-free ride-on toy that's powered by wiggling the steering wheel back and forth. My kiddos get more speed by just using their feet to push themselves so that's what they usually do, but they love it anyway. It can hold up to 220 lb so adults can on ride it, too---it's actually pretty fun!

Santa brought this when Grayson was 3 and EC was 1, and it's also been a toy that has been played with daily. It's now also one of Whitt's favorites. I like it because it's a pretty gender-neutral kitchen, as so many play kitchens are geared toward girls, and I also love that it's held up really well over the past two years.

This toy has been a favorite of Whitt's since turned one. It is really cute---you push one of the instrument buttons and it starts playing that instrument's sound as part of a Mozart song, and you can continue adding other instruments until they're all playing together. The songs don't get annoying like a lot of other baby toys (I don't put batteries in most of our toys, but this one is worthy!) and the edges are rubber and rounded so it can stand up to being dropped, thrown, etc...

If you have a four or five year old boy in your life, you HAVE to go to your nearest Target or Walmart and get some of these. Grayson is OBSESSED. They're only $3.50 each and provide hours of entertainment---could it be any better than that?? He went through the cars/train phase (and still plays with them, but not as often as he did), but he went to a friend's house this past summer and loved his monster trucks, so we gave him a bunch for his birthday in August and he continues to play with them every. single. day. We're even planning on taking him to a real Monster Jam in January---he's going to flip!!!! :)

Emma Claire got these for her second birthday and they are still a hit, both with my kiddos and with friends when they come over to play. It's a fun shape sorting game that also doubles as a play food for their kitchen. They're much heavier and more durable than they look, which for some reason gives them added appeal to the kids. They really are one of my favorite toys, too, and I've given them as a gift a few times as well.

I cannot say enough about how much we adore this bible. We have several children's bibles, but this is the one that Grayson and Emma Claire actually ask to have read to them--and once we start reading, it's hard to stop! It has 348 pages and we read the entire thing in a week and a half, and have just started to read it again. The stories are captivating to little ones, the illustrations are beautiful, and it's written in a way that preschoolers and younger children can understand. I love how it teaches them about both the Old and New Testaments, and it leaves them with minds and hearts that crave more.

The Bilibo is such a fun toy! It's a shell-shaped piece of plastic that has endless possibilities---my kiddos like to sit in them, spin in them, stand on them, put them on their heads, and lay on the ground and put them on their backs and pretend they're turtles. We have two, and now that Whitt has discovered how much fun they are, I'm thinking we might need a third. :) It's really a simple toy that encourages the children to use their imaginations, but I have a feeling it will be a favorite for awhile!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010


...this is why Grayson doesn't get much blog time anymore. He thinks it's hilarious to make goofy faces every time I pull the camera out. Typical 5 year old boy, but I guess I'll keep him! :)

Oh, and notice the typical 5 year old boy DIRTY hands in this one---he's a dirt magnet!

I got a semi-decent shot here---my grown up boy. :)

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Forget the LBD

It's more like LBC....Little Black Cat. Emma Claire's must have accessory these days:

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16 months

Sweet Whitt is at one of my very favorite ages. He's walking all over the place and is so happy to explore his little world. With his new mobility comes lots of bumps and bruises, but he's a tough little dude and usually takes it in stride with just a few tears and a quick kiss from Mommy before he's up and running again.

Whitty, how we love you and love to watch you grow and learn! You are such a blessing to our family, and it's hard to imagine how we ever lived without you! :)

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Monday, November 15, 2010


If you haven't read Pioneer Woman's blog, you must. She's amazing and I've never been unhappy with one of her recipes that I've cooked. I made her Chicken with Mushrooms and Artichokes tonight and oh. my. goodness. It was unbelievable. Not healthy---at all (can you say heavy cream??). But soooooo good. I don't even like pasta but I pretty much licked my plate clean. I couldn't feed it to the kiddos because Grayson is allergic to garlic, Emma Claire is going through a picky phase, and Whitt throws everything on the floor and I wasn't about to let this yummy goodness go to waste (or have to deal with cleaning it off the floor), so it just left more for Ben and me (no complaining here!). I will definitely be making this again!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Low budget laundry room makeover

My friend, Jo, inspired me with her laundry room and helped me out via text message and email (thanks, Jo!!!!!) to give our laundry room/pantry a little facelift last week. Our laundry room isn't even a room---it's more of a closet, and it resides in our kitchen and shares its space with all of our food. Not ideal but it's all we have to work with. My dream laundry room looks like the second picture you see when you click here, but there's always our next house, right? :)

Okay, the pictures are crappy because I took them with my phone so I could text them to Jo, but you get the idea. Here's the before....a big, cluttered mess:

Annnnnnnnnnd.......drumroll.............the AFTER! Not HGTV worthy or anything, but it looks so much better!! All it took was some baskets and bins from Target, a little fake plant from Pier 1, and a lamp that we already had:

There you have it! A simple, low-budget laundry room closet and pantry! Easy as pie, and many thanks to sweet Jo for the inspiration and suggestions!

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is so much fun when you have children! This year Whitt had croup so he didn't get to partake in any Halloween festivities, but he did get to dress up in his costume a few days earlier and pose for pictures before he got sick, so at least I got a few good pictures out of him. :) If anybody is interested in an adorable Baby Gap cow costume, size 12-18 months, let me know--otherwise off to eBay it will go!

Halloween, round one: Spiderman and "Scawy" cat before a party on Friday

Whitt got in on a couple of pictures a few minutes before Ben convinced me that I needed to take him to the doctor. P.S. Doctors' offices aren't too fond of parents who call at 4pm on a Friday insisting that their child needs to be seen....

Cutest scawy cat I've ever seen! (I really need to post a video of how Emma Claire talks--it's so sweet and I don't want to ever forget it)

Halloween, round two: Trick-or-treating with friends
Grayson playing football, mid catch

A good time was had by all!

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