1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Disappearing Penguins!

We read a story about penguins in group time and decided to throw out the worksheets yesterday and create some penguins.  There was snow in the book, too.  The kids drew snowflakes.
They were very careful in their snowflake construction.. so slow and precise.
We discussed how each snowflake is different. ♥  Kind of like people.  Today, a 4 year old girl told me at random, "Nicole, I don't have the same life like yours.  Cuz God makes different lives."  I was floored. 
They painted the snow!  I thought these were so cute!
So did everyone else, because they disappeared from the art wall at pick up time. 
Meanwhile, our Chippy is sure getting fat!  He is still here every day.  Will our feeding him keep him from hibernating?  Happy Wednesday! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Something Is Different

Here is our 'Angel Of Prayer'.  I keep her out all year.  In my mind, this is me, all day of every day.  Constantly in prayer.  "Dear Lord, please let us make it to the bus on time, please help me focus on what YOU want, please help my life calm down a little."  Be careful what you pray for!  My life has calmed down a bit TOO much.  If you know anyone who needs childcare, I have four spots I would love to fill.  Somehow when things get quiet around here I just don't know what to do.  I am grateful that God has provided me with some peace for now- it feels nice to have less to do.  I think my mind craves busy, though.   Prayer is my favorite thing.  Instant messaging with God.  ALWAYS pray!  Something is different for me this time, I do not feel the stress or worry right now about trying to fill these spots.  God knows what He is doing. 
We have decked the halls.  There is an unspoken thing between Adam and I and these letters that are supposed to spell NOEL.  We always change them.  No conversation about it, when I notice he has spelled something, then it is my turn.  Not many options, but entertaining.
Adams grandma made that quilt card holder and sent it home with us over Thanksgiving break.  I thought it was very creative!
These were rescued from a "free" table of stuff at church.  Perfect. ♥
Look what my niece was wearing- so stylish all of the time.  See that ugly towel we have to put under the tree?
It's Chloes new spot.  If I move the towel, she will leave giant gobs of fur everywhere.
We had to move this table to put the tree up.  I kind of like it here!  Something exciting- one of my daycare kiddos didn't know about Jesus being born and I get to teach her for the first time in her life.  ♥
We have an ornament tradition.  Every year, our kids each pick out a new ornament to call their own.  I mark them with their names.  When they move out, they take their ornaments to decorate their own trees.  This one is what Adam and I chose.
Here is Stephanies.
Ethans reindeer.
Aidens penguin.  It's fun to see what they pick each year.  Whether I like it or not.  (Big smile.. "It's... beautiful!"....)
The kids had fun noticing the changes for Christmas.  We will be very busy baking gingerbread cookies and doing extra crafts, and hopefully escaping on an adventure or two once school is out!  Do you have any Christmas time traditions? ♥♥♥

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's A Wonderful Life

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, I sure hope that you did, too!  We traveled to the Tri-Cities to spend it with Adams moms side of the family.  Our kids really love that trip. 
We always look forward to the beautiful scenery over Snoqualmie pass.  The roads were clear, the snow was just stunning.
Here is the view from the living room at Grandpa and Grandma Kays home.  That is the Columbia river. 
 Here is a much clearer view.
We enjoyed such a delicious meal- that dish you see is a jalapeno corn bread that you scoop with a spoon.  Recipe will be posted soon- it was to die for!
I love when Stephanie grabs the camera.  I found this cool shot.
Followed by this...
And this.. (laughing..) my favorite!
Now this wasn't a favorite, but she managed to capture that feeling pretty well.  This screams "I am taking a break."
Great Grandpa Kays with his trusty dog, Jethro.
We enjoyed the food, conversation, and company!  Let the Christmas season begin.♥♥♥

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Scrappy Apron Modeling

Remember my scrappy apron post?  I thought it was funny that I had a photo on that post of an apron I was wearing in the same pose as the photo above.  I just love aprons.  That fiery fabric is my favorite part of my new scrappy apron.  I cannot believe I actually finished it in a timely manner.  Three more are still in the works.
Here is my dorky modeling debut!  Yes, I just set the camera timer and tried to look feminine.   Chloe had been following me around that afternoon, so there she is.
Take 10 or 11, I was just so happy about the apron! Chloe was still there.  I especially love the front pockets.  When I cook or bake, I like to wear my headphones and shove the MP3 player in a pocket.  Perfect!  The apron in the photo is mine.  It is full of imperfections- loose thread in some spots, nothing is uniform.  I think it has character.  That is why I call it a s"crappy" apron.   I will be gifting the next apron to Adams grandma in the Tri Cities over Thanksgiving.  She is a talented quilter and can sew anything- to perfection.  I am sure she will appreciate my efforts!  P.S. This apron is REVERSIBLE!
Wearing it made me want to bake.  I baked a loaf of pumpkin bread, complete with raisins and walnuts for a friend who blessed me with several freezer meals for our family!  Have you ever thought about freezer cooking?  I'm learning, and can't wait to bless her back.  (Preparing and cooking meals ahead of time, freezing them, and then warming them up for a fast meal later.)  Blessings abound!! Today we are having a free day.  (Sorry kids...)  I have two bedrooms to clean, 5 bags to pack, and planning to do.  Meanwhile, blessing the kiddos today with a Thanksgiving meal lunch.  Complete with home made pumpkin pie.  Thank you God for these kids and their families!♥♥♥

Monday, November 21, 2011

Henle House Tribe

We have been learning about the ways the native American Indians lived before the pilgrims invaded and caused havoc.  I usually leave that part out, these guys are only 4.  Each November, I really enjoy having the kids create a feather head dress and help them receive an Indian name.  The kids enjoyed looking at old photos that we found on the internet.  I LOVE the internet as a teaching source, and today I have my computer back.  Things are happening much quicker as the computer desk now. 
 They were fascinated!  They noticed the long hair.  "Are they sad?"  One asked.  I had to explain that the photo probably took a looooong time to take.
They wanted to see the feathers. 
It was time to create our own!
To come up with our names, I asked them to think of an animal.  Then I asked them what the animal was doing.  Of course, I had to take each child in the other room to get an answer that was genuine.  If one four year old chooses eagle and the others hear it, they all want to choose eagle, too.  She chose "Following Snake."
"Hungry Lion."
My favorite.. "Playing Chicken." ♥
"Sitting Bear."  They spent the next hour wrapping themselves in blankets in place of animal hides.  Happy Monday!♥♥♥ 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pie Crust Disaster

I have a love/hate relationship with pie dough.  I'm also a crust snob, I really prefer a crust made from scratch.  My love/hate relationship started when I had to throw away a whole batch of dough I had made from scratch.  It was the first time I had to chuck it in the trash, but certainly not the last!  The last time I had this issue was a few years ago, and the pie was so awful looking, I actually asked Stephanie to take a photo.
Look- we still had dark panel in the house.  But more importantly, that look on my face brings up all kinds of hatred in my heart for that day of pie dough disaster.  I had thrown away the first batch, only to have the next batch be awful, too.  By awful, I mean that it wouldn't roll out.  Pie dough will not cooperate if it is manipulated too much.  By this point, I was just pissed off.  I am sure I let it ruin my day.  At least my apron looked cool.  It's a favorite of mine.
Look at that mess!  I had finally thrown in the towel and just slapped a bunch of pieces on there.  I couldn't take it anymore.  Bad pie dough!! Bad!!  It was ruining my life!
These ladies are the queens of turkey gravy.  My mom with her mom.  These are the most important ladies in my life.  They taught me how to make the pie dough, and the gravy.  This year, I am not in charge of pie dough.  I'm making pumpkin pies, so if the dough is awful, we won't notice.  Good thing, because things are always a bit awkward when cooking in someone elses kitchen.  But because we are spending Thanksgiving with Adams side of the family this year, I am hoping to bless them with gravy.
  It has been fun having this old computer.  I'm pretty nostalgic about photos, and here's another throwback one.  We were playing Catchphrase.  Happy Friday everyone!♥♥♥

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where's Chloe?

I felt like baking something quick for the kids.  It's fun to bake with them, but sometimes it's nice to just cram it all into a short amount of time and do it myself.  We've been learning the colors brown and yellow.  Last December, Family Fun Magazine published a great recipe for what they called "Candy Cane Twist" cookies.  We loved them.  I used the same recipe and created some Thanksgiving twists, using brown and yellow.  Sweets for my sweets.
I love to use Wilton food coloring.  It's a thick gel, and very potent stuff.  The recipe I used is here at Family Fun.
To keep the kids busy while I had fun baking, we got out our pumpkin pie playdough.
 I love this cookie dough recipe because it didn't require extra flour to make it usable.  It was very smooth, easy to manipulate.  Easy to roll "snakes" for twisting.
Brown and yellow. The kids enjoyed them.  Meanwhile, Chloe had been missing all day.  It took hours, and after hearing a faint snore in the living room, we located her in what has been her new spot for about a week.
What a weirdo!  I can imagine that this spot is incredibly loud.
Silly Chloe, but we sure love this game!  Happy Wednesday!♥♥♥