Sunday, March 31

Brotherly (in law) Bonding

Scotch always helps, too.

Grateful For #86: Easter Egg Hunts! (videos)

Our Easter Morning Egg Hunt!

Happy Easter!!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter holiday! We did our Easter morning and egg hunt yesterday (Trevor had to work early this morning).

We dyed eggs Friday and left them out for the Easter Bunny in the baskets we made and he left us the boys some wonderful treats! 

Easter morning video is below.

Saturday, March 30

Grateful For #85: Sandboxes!

It was in the 60s yesterday so I put sand in the sandbox for the boys. Too Much Fun!!!

Thank you God for sandboxes.

What are you grateful for today?

Handmade Hats For Trace =)

Trace has really been into hats lately... and his favorite seem to be crochet hats. I can crochet, but for some reason I just really haven't wanted to for.... oh... the past year or so. LOL So instead I went looking for some deals =)

Here's what I found

Friday, March 29

Grateful For #84: Spring Flowers

Even though the snow just melted yesterday (and we're suppose to get snow, sleet and rain on Monday) these lovely tiny flowers are all over the back yard!

Thank you God for Spring flowers.

What are you grateful for today?

Read Along Toy Story

We tried a new approach to read alone time =) Went over pretty well!

BIG NEWS- Tristian Loves Getting Replies!!!

Tristian REALLY loves hear from you all in the form of replies to his journal entries or comments on his page. It really helps motivate him to write! So if you find yourself with some time to kill and are looking for some reading or social interaction... consider stopping by Tristian's Page, reading a few of his journal posts and leaving him a reply or two. He loves to reply back and gets very excited and proud that he's talking to his family and friends on his special page! Even if you haven't met Tristian or seen him in a while, he would still love to hear from you =)

You can visit his page by clicking the picture above (which is also always in the top left corner, right next to the most recent post on our blog) or you can visit this link-

Thursday, March 28

Grateful For #83: Nice Weather

Yay! Please let it be for real this time! We loved being out in the sun without coats today :-)

Thank you God for nice weather!

Using Other's Images and Writings

I have been finding articles and images from my previous blog used around the internet, without permission. Many of those I've talked to don't seem to know that's not ok, and certainly have no inkling it's actually illegal. I have found that many people are not aware that images and writing published (like through a blog or other internet source) are immediately protected by copyright law. Also, the images on Google search are not Google's images any more then the sites on their search are their sites. That has come up a lot also, being told an image isn't mine but Google's.

Wednesday, March 27

Grateful For #82: Melting Snow!

Have you seen!? The snow is melting. Come on Spring!!!!

Thank you God for Spring (hopefully and finally) being on the way.

Ladder Yarn Necklaces

If you remember the post a few days ago about the scrapbook decorative star I saw at Ben Franklin when we were up in Monroe City visiting Trevor's parents. You might remember I went in looking for a type of yarn. It's called ladder yarn and it is GORGEOUS! Really, really beautiful. I wish I could show you just how beautiful. It is vibrant and sparkles and just lovely. Below are some necklaces I've made with it. (and if you didn't see the star I'm talking about you can by CLICKING HERE)

Tuesday, March 26

Grateful For #81: Ah-Ha! Moments

Both kid and adult Ah-Ha! moments =)

Thank you God for those special Ah-Ha! moments.

What are you grateful for today?

The Writing on the Wall (journal activity)

We really struggle with writing. Tristian hates is. It is a daily ordeal to get him to practice letters or write a journal entry. We use to do both but now it's one or the other. He can either do a letter practice or write a journal entry. Normally he chooses journal. Sometimes he flat our refuses. Those end up being letter practice days (you can't force a child to come up with a journal entry).

So I've been trying to find ways to get him into writing.

Monday, March 25

Grateful For #81: Hot Showers

Sometimes there is nothing nicer then a hot shower.

Thank you God for hot showers.

Where In The World Is Spring!?!? (LOTS more snow)

What in the world is going on? It's the end of March. This is Spring! This is the time each year we start doing picnics and begin looking forward to beach visits coming soon. That is simply not possible to do when everything outside is covered by half a foot of snow -.-

Sunday, March 24

Grateful for #80: Yummy Food and Good Shows

Eating supper and watching amazon prime.

Thank you God for yummy food and good shows!

What are you grateful for today?

Exploring More About Animals

This is the wildlife binder and animal fact sheet set you can read about how we got free by CLICKING HERE.

I had initially planned to use the IMP Wildlife Explorer set for the basis of a year long activity next school year. Still am going to but introduced the book a little earlier ;-)

Tristian has been very interested in different types of animals lately (mammals, birds, reptiles, etc). We had a brief week intro to each a couple months ago, but Tris is still very interested. So the other day I broke open the book and packets and his task was to figure out which group each animal was in.

Had a blast!

Saturday, March 23

Grateful For # 79: Being Home Safe and Sound

Just got home from our visit to Monroe City. We all really enjoyed our visit! The drive home was much less fun during a dark rainy night.

Thank you God for for getting us home safe and sound.

What are you grateful for today?

Educational Game Fundraises with Discounts and Giveaway.

This awesome educational game needs your fundraising help. They aren't asking for handouts, to the right on their kickstart page is a list of backer options with special promotions for their product. You are helping them fund-raise and getting the game and other game related incentives for your fund raising dollar.

They only have days left and it's an all or nothing set up at kickstart.

Below is a video about the game and below that is also a link to a giveaway for the game.

Decorative ScrapStar (also in Monroe)

We are all in Monroe City to see Trevor's family this weekend. My mother-in-law is the Ben Franklin manager and has yarn I've been looking for. So we had stopped to say hello and buy the yarn when we saw this. I don't know what it's really called, but it looks like a scrapbook page on a large decorative star =) How lovely would this be hung next to the front door?

Had to snap a picture to remember it. Thought I'd share the inspiration. This is going into my pile of crafts I REALLY want to do, you know.... eventually ;-)

Friday, March 22

Grateful For #78: Shared Viewpoints

I am extremely grateful that Trevor and I see things very similarly. On Facebook the other day I posted a status about how crazy politics were and Trevor posted something in reply about how he loved me for my simply complicated crazy beautiful mind. I replied that he loved me because he saw everything the same way and would be hyprocritical otherwise. It was funny (at least to us) but I wasn't just being cute. Trevor and I really do have nearly identical viewpoints on just about everything. We were together for three years before our first fight ever (and it should be noted we had a newborn and very little sleep, hehe). We hadn't fought before then because we hadn't disagreed... Our disagreement then stemmed from housework, rather then something paradigm shifting (and WE finally had something to discuss during out couples communication classes).

Thank you God for giving Trevor and I such similar viewpoints, I know our relationship journey has been much much smoother for it.

What are you grateful for today?

Doctor Who and Torchwood

So I like Torchwood, good stuff. Never knew it was connected to Doctor Who. More then connected really.


All the same letters. Didn't notice that on my own, might never have noticed- my friend Amy pointed it out to me. She's who got me to start watching Doctor Who. I'd never seen it before a couple weeks ago but she LOVES it (understandably, awesome show). We don't really do the TV series thing as they come out. Normally we stream when we have time and feel like watching TV (kinda goes in shifts, we won't watch TV for months then for a few months we will go through a couple series).

Thursday, March 21

Grateful For #77: Crafts

Crafts are fantastic =) Fantastically fun =)

Thank you God for crafts.

What are you grateful for today?

Mod Podge Easter Basket Craft =)

We made our Easter Bunny Baskets over the last couple days =) We have a tradition where we leave smallish baskets out with some decorated eggs for the Easter Bunny the night before. The Easter Bunny takes the baskets and eggs (it is a topic of some debate in our home whether he eats the eggs or just collects them, and if he collects them... then how does he keep them all from spoiling year after year?). Anyways, the Easter Bunny takes the baskets and eggs and in return leaves a basket of goodies and some hidden eggs for the boys to find.

Wednesday, March 20

Grateful For #76: Less Debt

With our refund I-
  • Paid the credit cards we used to pay for buildngi the fence around the house and car insurance last year. We are once again credit card debt free, WOOHOO!
  • Also, paid the car payments for another 6 months.It was already paid til September 3rd 2013 with last year's refund, did not want to try and figure out working that back into the monthly budget atm. This will take us through March 2014.
  • Paid the rest down on home equity. We currently owe about 44k between home equity and mortgage. Just praying we can get at least that much when we sell the house, housing economy is crud =/ Owe about 4k on the car. So total debt is about 48k. Still, very grateful to not have any more debt then that right now.
Thank you God for budgeting and less debt then we had a week ago =)

What are you grateful for today?

Me Dolls (for All About ME! unit)

We made these me dolls as the start of Trisitan's All About ME! unit at the start of the school year.

      *Take and print a picture with limps spread
      *Cut it out
      *Paste on one of 2 construction papers stacked together
      *Cut out a basic shape around the picture then tape the two construction papers
        together leaving a hole for stuffing (stapling doesn't work well, tried on Trace's)
      *Stuff with some sort of filler (cotton, newspaper, whatever) and finish taping up

If you cover the whole thing with tape (mostly before stuffing so it's smoother) it makes it pretty durable. These pictures were taken when the dolls were about 4 months old =)

The boys loved them and Tris kept his on his desk throughout the school year.

Free App- Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpiller


Amazon free app of the day, today (link below). Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar, normally $2.99. From the book by Eric Carle with Mozart music.

You can get the app here- (delete the amp; before node- it's something blogger puts by any amp sign), but only for about half a day from the time I posted this. After that it's $2.99 again.

If you don't have the Amazon App Store you can download it to your mobile device here- you will need to have an amazon account to get the apps, but the account and the free apps of the day are free.

As you can see... it is already Trace approved =)

Oh Look- A Tunnel!


Tuesday, March 19

Grateful For #75: Tax Refund Being On Time

Last year it took the government 5 months to get us our overpaid taxes back. They didn't process the refund correctly, sent it to the wrong department and misplaced one of the (electronically filed) forms. It took me several calls over weeks time to figure the whole thing out and get our refund. So, this year I am VERY grateful that it came just weeks after filing.

Thank you God for a very speedy refund this year!

What are you grateful for today?

Asthma Attacks Don't Come With Sirens

Most asthma attacks are not sudden onset. Not in my experience, anyways. There's no warning siren that goes off in your head.


Monday, March 18

Grateful For #74: Trace Only Having Allergies

lol, odd thing to be grateful for, but I'm very grateful it was not still that chest thing.

Thank you God for Trace being better.

What are you grateful for today?

Doctor Office Update

Update- Trace actually seems to be over the infection (woohoo!) what I had assumed was still infection because of all the mucus and etc (just habit at this point lol) actually looks to be spring allergies. So the doctor doubled his allergy medicine from the toddler amount to the little boy amount (aka, half teaspoon to full teaspoon) and he should be sleeping fine again soon =) Yay!

Me, not so lucky.

Eating Breakfast Waiting To Call Doctor

Trace and I had VERY bad night's. He only got a handful of hours of sleep and I got less then an hour.

So we tagged along with Dad to work and are eating breakfast waiting to call the doctor (who is just down the street from HyVee here).

These chest infections (which I suspect has been one infection getting better but not gone with antibiotics then building back up again since Christmas) have not been fun for us at all :-/

A New Blog Design!

Our blog has a whole new look!

Here's a print screen off my tablet of it in case you are on reader or etc =)

I still have this chest infection (I am getting pretty fed up with it honestly) and spent yesterday lounging on the couch with nothing much to do when I wasn't changing diapers or the like ;-) So I got it in my head to start playing around with pictures and colors. Sort of an extension of what I've been doing a lot lately anyways... but this time one thing led to another and suddenly I had an entire blog design!

So, I put it to good use =)

Sunday, March 17

Grateful For #73: Catechism

Thank you God for Catechism

What are you grateful for today?

Reward Choosing/Planning for the Zoo

On MyPoints I'm choosing a reward to help with our St. Louis Zoo trip budget. It came down between a $75 Marriott Travel Card for 9100 points or a $50 BP Gas Card for 7350 points plus $10 BP for 1700. The obvious answer here is Marriott's 121 points per dollar compared to BP's 151 per dollar. Pretty big difference! But here's what I found when I broke down the trip options.

Saturday, March 16

Grateful For #72: Warmer Weather

Even if it was just for a few days =) I am ready for spring. Tonight there is a winter weather advisory. Suppose to get more snow in the morning. Oh well.

Thank you God for some warmer weather, hopefully I'm thanking you for more very soon.

What are you grateful for today?

Rediscovered YUM- Apples and Nutella

We have a new (old) favorite snack at our house. We call it chocolate apples, but it's really just cut up apples with Nutella dip. We use to do this a lot with Tris, but just sort of stopped for some reason and forgot about it. 

Here's to rediscovered yumminess! 

What yummy foods have you forgotten then rediscovered?

Friday, March 15

Grateful For #71: Mod Podge

I have been loving the mod podge lately! Take an empty oatmeal container, add a paint brush, decorative paper and some mod podge and you've got a great storage container for whatever. Love it!

Thank you God for Mod Podge.

What are you grateful for today?

ALL YOU: March Magazine Coupon Round Up

I was going to do all the magazines on one post, however All You has enough coupons to make it's own post, so I'm doing this one first and the others as tomorrow's post.

All You Cover Cost: $2.49 My Cost: 78¢ Cost Savings: $1.79
Total Coupon Value: $29.90 Total Coupon Code Value: $83
%s off: 25% off 20% off
Estimated Total Savings: $123.25 (according to All You cover) 

Now remember, we get two of these magazines. Bought on the 2 for one sale.

That's a lot of savings!

Thursday, March 14

Grateful For #71: Monkey Trace

Lol! In case you didn't know Trace is part monkey. He climbs on EVERYTHING, nothing is out of his reach and he does stuff like to the side all the time and just hangs there. I love (and am terrified by) his fearlessness. I hope he never losses it (though pray it is tempered somewhat before he really harms himself).

Thank you God for my wonderful Monkey Trace.

What are you grateful for today?

IMP Wildlife Explorer Trial Set Experience

I found out about this while looking through the SwagBucks special offers under the TrialPay tab to see if there were any deals for a company I was looking at ordering from. You order the starter set for $3.99 and get 555 Swagbucks back. 450 SwagBucks gets you a $5 Amazon gift card... so I figured, what the heck, why not? Trevor and I both did it on ourt SwagBuck accounts to get one for each child. So we spent $3.99 and got enough SwagBucks for $6.17 in Amazon gift cards. Fantastic.

If you don't have a SwagBucks account you can sign up by CLICKING HERE.

Wednesday, March 13

Grateful For #70: Washers and Dryers

Because I have enough trouble keeping up with laundry and would be in serious trouble if we still had to do it all by hand.

Thank you God for Washers and Dryers.

What are you grateful for today?

Mom vs Bathtime- Toddler Wins

I start running a bath.
Door handle rattles.... he found me.
Muffled, 'OH-NO!'
The door is locked.
Against my better judgement...because I am a MOM and his oh no tears at my heart, I do the dumbest thing I can do- I open the door.
A gleeful, 'MOM!' Greets me.
He peers behind me, 'BATH!'
'yeah, that's Mom's bath.'
'yeah, bubbles in Mom's bath.'
He begins stripping.
I begin pulling clothes back on him, 'no, Mom's bath'
....seriously why did I open that door?
What are my chances of winning this?

Tuesday, March 12

Grateful For #69: Daylight Savings Time

I know there are lot of arguments for and against Daylight Savings Time... But I love that it gives Trev and extra hour of sunlight with me and the boys to do stuff outside.

Thank you God for Daylight Savings.

What are you grateful for today?

Profile Photo Fun

Tristian did not want to go to sleep tonight. He threw a fit at 10pm, which woke up his brother, who had already been asleep for two hours. Of course for Trace (who is switching from napping to not napping at the moment and did not do a nap yesterday) this meant he was up for a little bit. It's 2:30am atm, actually.

So I played around with some colors and whatnot while waiting for Trace to get sleepy again. Ended up creating my new profile picture =) Thought I might as well make this my post of the day, since I'm up and on the computer anyways.

 Had any photo fun lately?

Monday, March 11

Grateful For #68: Educational Shows

I am very grateful for educational shows the boys can watch and enjoy while also learning something. Like the Signing Times series. To the right is a picture of the boys and their cousin Roree watching one of the Signing Times dvds Saturday night. They love them =)

Thank you God for fun educational shows for children.

What are you grateful for today?

Just About the Boys and My Health

We've had a pretty rocky road to walk health wise. Nothing compared to what some families have gone through, of course, but difficult still. Tris didn't truly start getting really really ill till after we stopped breastfeeding (when he was 6 months old and just a couple weeks before the first time he stopped breathing). That correlation with Tristian not getting breastmilk and the almost immediate onset of symptoms was the single biggest reason behind our decision to allow Trace to self wean. There is a lot of evidence out there that suggest most human babies self wean around the age their immune systems finish developing. So if they might have a disorder that can put them at risk farther immune wise, well... it just seemed to make more sense not to risk it.

Sunday, March 10

Grateful For #67: Rainy Sunday Afternoon Naps

Thank you God for rainy Sunday afternoon naps with my baby.

What are you thankful for today?

Teaching Rhymes

Are there any you use a lot? I have two that come to mind immediately, and I'm sure I've used more with Tris I can't think of at the moment.

There is the classic:
I before E except after C or when sounded as A as in Neighing or Weigh.... 
Unless the word is WEIRD!

I added the last part about the word weird when I was in school and noticed that weird in fact does not fallow this rule. I've been told that in the English language more words don't then do follow that rule, but for most basic words it seems to work... so we use it.

The one that sparked this post is:
A is one, a couple is two, a few is three or four, 
five or six is some and several is 7 or more.

Saturday, March 9

Grateful For #66: Being Us

To the left is Trace sporting a milk mustache as he models one of his cousin's birthday or Christmas presents- an adorable hot pink and white crocheted hat with hot pink crochet flowers on the side. Trace would happily keep it if we let him, my darling goofy boy loves it! Behind him is my other goofy boy, Tristian =)

 Thank you God for all the wonderful quirks and moments that make up each of our's individuality.

What are you grateful for today?

Keepsake Box Craft

This craft is a little time consuming, but is not hard at all. My out of pocket cost on this was $1 per box since the Mod Podge was the only thing I had to buy for it. You could do this very cheaply by using dollar store wrapping paper if you don't have decorative paper on hand. The cigar boxes can be gotten free from your local grocery store that sells cigars. Just call and ask if they have any when you're going to be shopping and if they could set a few aside for you. I got ours from HyVee. 

For this craft you're going to need:

Friday, March 8

Grateful For #65: Warmer Weather Snow Fun

Today it's 53 degrees right now. They boys are outside playing dinosaurs in the snow. How adorable is that? I'm not even sure they needed coats on today, but with there still being snow thought, Better safe then sorry.

Thank you God for blessing us with the very fun day of snow and warmer weather.

What are you grateful for today?

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