Thankful Tree

All over Pinterest this fall I saw pictures of “thankful trees.” I immediately LOVED the idea and could not wait to do it with L! Instead of doing one sit down project, I decided I wanted our tree project to last from November 1st until Thanksgiving.  Giving us a daily activity of talking about what we are thankful for.

Liesel caught on to the idea easily.  It was slightly hard explaining what being thankful means to a 2-year-old.  I ended our first conversation with talking about things that make us happy.  Than added we give thanks to Jesus for giving us such wonderful things! This definitely resonated with Liesel.  I looked forward to our daily conversations about thankfulness and I was eager to see what she would decide to put up on her tree for each day! 

 This picture was taken on the day Liesel decided she was most thankful for the garbage truck:) I should note that Tuesday,garbage day, is quite a highlight in our house.  Liesel runs to her window to watch the gigantic truck work his magic;) It’s the little things right?

We finally made it to Thanksgiving week and had faithfully added a hand leaf each day.  There were a few days that I had forgotten to add to the tree and when sitting down to dinner Liesel politely said, ” Momma, the tree!” It’s a good thing I have her around to keep me in line!  I look forward to making Thankful Trees a tradition in our house.  Next year there will be two sets up there. I cannot wait to hear Moira Jane’s ideas! 

Here is a picture of Liesel’s final project

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A Budding Friendship

“Sisters, sisters, never were there such devoted sisters…” a classic song from White Christmas, that was sung in my family growing up referring to my three sisters and I.  The tradition has carried on and Liesel now knows the whole song almost by heart!  A sisters bond is a special one and I am blessed to be able to see that bond forming in my two girls.

When I found out I was pregnant, again,  it came as quite a shock.  Liesel at the time was only 10 months old and seemed so much like a baby, well, she was still a baby! The entire pregnancy I  worried about how life would be with two kids only 19mths apart.  How was Liesel going to react to another baby around? Would there be jealousy, anger? How could I possibly love another baby as much as I loved my Liesel??  All these worries quickly went away when sweet Moira Jane entered our lives.  The moment I held her in triage, my heart felt that deep connection a mother can only feel with her child. It was true what they say, love does multiply!!   Liesel’s reaction to her new baby sister was so pure, so sweet and so sincere.  From the moment we brought Moira home, her big sister could not get enough of her!  The kisses came freely and by the hundreds 🙂 Every morning Liesel would walk out of her room and exclaim ” Dowa” ( her 19mth version of Moira) with a gigantic smile on her face, excited that she was still here.  Before hugging and kissing me, she would reach out and kiss her baby sister.  I thought this was a phase that Liesel would quickly out grow, but here we are after 9 months of being a family of four and Liesel still wakes up the exact same way!  She loves her Moira Jane Jane. 

And it is obvious that Moira loves and adores her big sister.  No one can get her to laugh and smile the way Liesel can!  The moment Moira spots Liesel in a room her face breaks out into the biggest smile.  amazing.

Sure, Liesel can get  aggressive with her sister.  Her hugs turn into head locks, or her kisses turn too hard; but never has she done anything out of jealousy or anger.  It’s usually just over-excitement:)

 Now that Moira is older and much more interactive it is clear that a friendship between the two is forming.  The giggles from the backseat are a constant in the car.  The splashes and laughter in the tub are a joy to hear.  Liesel and Moira have even started to play together: having tea parties, reading books, and just laughing and jabbering away to each other.

I am so excited to watch this budding friendship continue to grow and grow! Sisters are a wonderful thing and I love that Liesel and Moira are already tapping into this wonderful bond! 

photo courtesy of sdreevesphotography.com

Halloween 2012

Halloween has never been a favorite holiday of mine.  I always looked at is as a hurdle to get over so that we could begin celebrating the two best holidays!  However, now that I have kids, things have changed.  I like Halloween more than ever before.  Seeing how excited Liesel was to go and pick out a pumpkin this year was such a joy! I also could not wait to see my little girls dressed up in their costumes.  We had so much fun all month doing Halloween crafts, putting up (friendly) Halloween decorations, reading Halloween books and eating fall/Halloween foods!

Liesel woke up Wednesday ( Halloween) morning with a huge smile on her face, ” Its Halloween day, Momma!”  Unfortunately she now knows what candy tastes like, thanks to a children’s message at church a few weeks ago;) It was bound to happen, but Eric and I were mostly bummed that now we weren’t going to get away with eating all of her candy!  Here are some pictures from all of our Halloween fun!

Liesel playing with the “ooey gooeys” aka pumpkin guts:)

On Halloween eve we decorated some pumpkin cookies.  Liesel, of course, had to wear her butterfly wings:)

We started Halloween morning off with some spiced pancakes shaped as Jack-O-Lanterns. 

And finally it was time to get dressed for trick or treating. 

My attempt to get a few pictures of the girls together…

Daddy with his girls

Mommy with her girls

Liesel about to make her trick-or-treating debut. 

Going from house to house like a pro! Eric said by the end she would march on up to the houses all by herself.

 Having such a blast!

What an awesome day! Liesel is still talking about all the fun she had.  She also has been wearing her tutu and wings over pjs, dresses, pants…who says Halloween should only happen once a year?

Costumes

This year I decided  to try my hand at homemade costumes for the girls.  This would be tricky because I do not own nor have I ever used a sewing machine ( well that is not entirely true, I did make a duffel bag in 5th grade Home-Economics…).  So, because of this slightly major handicap, I knew I had to pick an easy idea. I also wanted the girls costumes to go together. There are only a few precious years where you get to dictate your children’s clothing choices, costumes, etc and I intend to make the most of them:) SO matching they will be!  Butterfly/ caterpillar was the first idea that jumped into my head and I loved it! Liesel has been all about finding, watching, and chasing butterflies on our daily walks so the idea was fitting. I also had recently ordered Monarch Butterfly wings off etsy for dress-ups, so using them for Halloween as well was a huge bonus! And for antenna I was able to use last years “Bumblebee” ones and spray paint the yellow black!

The first step was finding a “how to” on tutus for Liesel’s Monarch Butterfly skirt.  I came across the website www.momdot.com, and it had a tutu tutorial that seemed farely simple to do.  Off I went to Hobby Lobby to buy 10yds of tulle, 5yds in black and 5 in orange.  I was in luck and found them for less than a dollar per yard! I also needed to buy 1nch elastic which I found at Walmart for $1.  The first night was spent (hand) sewing the elastic and cutting the tulle.  For the elastic I needed to measure Liesel’s waist then reduce the elastic by about 2 inches.  I then sewed the ends together, this would take no time at all with a machine, but it wasn’t half bad the old-fashioned way either. Next I needed the tulle to be 6in by 24in.  I am sure there is an easier way to cut it all out, but I decided to take the hard route and use a ruler and scissors… this was the tedious part; it took forever! Also, side not, 10 yards was WAY too much, I would say 6-8 would be plenty. 

Once all the tulle was cut it was time to start making the skirt. I found a round tin to be my “manikin” and began tieing the tulle onto the elastic using a slip knot. Here is a picture of the beginning of Liesel’s tutu

I was shocked by how easy this step was! It took only one hour-long episode of Berkley Square ( a BBC show Eric and I were watching and def recommend).  Here is the finished product; I was so happy how it turned out!

 Now onto the caterpillar for Moira Jane.  I thought this was going to be a piece of cake.  All I needed was a solid green sleeper and a green hat, easy peasy, right?  WRONG! Apparently stores do not believe in carrying solid color anything for babies. I even looked online. Ugh, now what?! After venting to a friend I ran into while out on my green-sleeper-search-nightmare, she called me later that day informing me that she had  a solid green sleep sack I could borrow. Not sure why I had never thought of this?? But I am glad she did! It fit perfect. It was a 0-6mth size, but the fact that it was a little snug on Moira, made it that much cuter:) I had a green hat from all our neutral baby clothes and (hand) sewed on two pipe cleaners and we were in business! Here is a picture of my two little cuties on Halloween. I am excited to make their costumes next year, and who knows maybe I will be a seasoned seamstress by then…we can dream:)