Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving {2013}

HaPpY ThAnKsGiViNg!!!!

The chilly weather made the 5K Turkey Trot a "No Go" and instead we spent the morning decorating our turkey hand print cookies. 

 A certain little angel couldn't help himself & started sampling the merchandise. How can you say, "no" to a face like that?

We rounded out the rest of the morning prepping tasty treats before heading over to YiaYia & Bopi's to sip & feast our way through the day.

2013 Turkey Veggie Tray
Our skilled bartenders
Belle with two of her favorite uncles.

Cousins & Besties
Beyond thankful for these two.
The littles and adults alike tried their hand at Turkey Day BINGO. Belle has already requested this be an annual tradition.

After we could eat no more, we headed over to YiaYia Terry & Papou Yiannis' for round 2. I forgot my camera so sadly I don't have pics of all the cousins & the fun that was had. I did grab a quick shot of Peanut & his much loved Baltimore cousin J. These two cuties are only 2 days apart and thick as thieves when they get together.

And with that, Thanksgiving 2013 is in the books and I'm about to carry my very sleepy self up to bed.
Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with those you hold near and dear to your heart; and thank you for taking time out of your busy life to follow my lil blog.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

October & November Recap

Before November passes, I wanted to capture a few of the fond moments October and November brought.

Back in October Peanut earned enough stickers on his reward chart & selected a model pirate ship as his prize. He LOVES that boat!

After church a few weeks back I snapped a quick shot of Bear in Peanut's old Thanksgiving Day overalls…my lil gobbler. Then Belle got in on the portrait action.

This past Sunday we lit our first fire of the season and Peanut was beyond thrilled…kids favorite thing to do is light a fire & play board games.

We also got a glimpse of a double rainbow that same afternoon.

In this shot the boys were creative and Peanut devised a dry way to pick up Belle from the bus stop.

Bear's newest past time…air hockey on his belly, puck & mallet in hand.

Pretty sure this will be the last year I'll be able to get away with knit animal hats…sniff, sniff.
And isn't that giant pumpkin a rock star…it is one of two monsters YiaYia grew in her garden!

We continued our annual Halloween Party tradition at Bestie H's house earlier in the month. When we held the first party Belle was an only child…how things have changed.

Oh how I love having little helpers. This is the first year where their version of "help" and our version actually were the same.

Peanut's preschool pictures…seriously when did he turn 14!?!

This crazy cardinal has been attacking our back windows since the spring. We've tried everything to deter him to no avail. I've now surrendered to the constant banging. Truthfully, I'm surprised he has accidentally killed himself.

And finally, Tuesday was mustache day for Spirit week at Belle's school; she got a real kick out of taking a prop to school.

And with that we are entering into the Christmas season around here. We officially kicked things off with Christmas hot chocolate this past weekend. Let the Holly Jolly begin!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Fun & Teacher Treats

Happy Friday Everyone! We have a  full schedule this weekend, but I'll be sure carved out some time to stop off at the store and pick up all the supplies needed for the surprises I've got planned for the littles this week. Hopefully you'll have the chance to try one or two of these out with your own family.

Free Printable Bingo/Turkey Sandwich/Turkey Handprint Cookies

And while you're out, don't forget Thanksgiving Teacher Treats. Last year I managed to bake up mini pumpkin bread, but this year I'll be packaging up 10 baggies of goodies for all the teachers/coaches/instructors in our littles' lives.
As much as I love giving homemade treats, there just isn't the time this year so I picked up this scrumptious looking peppermint bark at Costco. After all, it is the thought that counts. I plan to package them with tags reading, "Hope your Holidays are off to a great start. Happy Thanksgiving"  or something to that effect.

And with that, I'm off to start the weekend rush…hair appointment, errands, pizza party, swimming, ballet, & our lil nephew G's baptism bash all in one weekend. I'm already exhausted!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A "Dino"mite Celebration {Happy Name Day Bear}

Over the weekend we celebrated Bear's Name Day. He has been obsessed with dinosaurs lately, particularly the robotic giant pictured below he first discovered in the toy aisle at Target. So I scooped the beast up for a deal on amazon & Hubby, Belle, Peanut & I set to work creating a Jurassic tablescape. 

It was fun having all the extra sets of hands & ideas. Ultimately we ended up with a simple table set with burlap placemats (I just cut rectangles out of a remnant I had in my stash), orange napkins & my Threshold plates

I googled an age appropriate triceratops image & taped the cutouts to each glass.  Gray paper straw are a favorite around here & help prevent spills. Orange ikat dot fabric runs under the dino book & chalkboard bearing the traditional Name Day greeting written in Greek. 

A stash of mini toy dinosaurs came in handy, adding a playful touch to the table.

Our little guy was a little confused at first but quickly shouted, "button dino…push it" and spent the morning playing with his new best buddy. 

Eventually we sat down to enjoy veggie scramble, grapes & berries….Bear's favorite breakfast & often our lunch of choice when he & I dine solo.

Later in the day we celebrated with dessert and family. I whipped up a homemade banana cream pie in honor of Bear's favorite snack.

Bopi also celebrated….Bear is his namesake. 

This year way a little less involved than last year's celebration, but definitely much more reflective of our Baby Bear and his tastes…such a little man he is growing into. OK I'm off to work on the table skirt for the dining room buffet…I have told myself I can't put out a single Christmas decoration until that project is complete & I've only got 9 days until Turkey day!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Giving to Others {Advent Printables}

I know it is still 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, but over the years I've learned an organized Christmas season is a festive one and an unorganized one is simply stressful!!  This year I want to alter our Advent house tradition. Rather than using the calendar as a vehicle in which my already overindulged littles receive additional goodies, this year I want the children to partake in an act of service to others.
By planning the activities ahead of time, I can be sure to have the supplies needed on hand and ensure that the appropriate card is placed in each box.

Now coming up with 25 service oriented activities for a 7,4, & nearly 2 year old was quite the challenge so there are a few "fluff" cards like visiting Santa and Hide & Seek Surprises (new Christmas books & movies the kiddies can hunt for around the house). Mainly though, the daily activity is one in which the littles are called upon to do something for, or give to, someone other than themselves. I tried to balance the activities' time requirements to allow for days when extracurricular activities are heavy and others where a good portion of the day will be occupied. And here is what I came up with:

Please feel free to use the printouts for your own family. I added a few extra hide & seek print cards to cover the items that are specific to our family like visiting Hubby's grandparents & baking bread for church. To access the file simply right click, save the jpg to your computer & then print clicking "fit to page".

I hope that 25 days of service to others will help to keep the true spirit of Christmas at the forefront of this Holiday season. To be honest, anything is a dramatic improvement over last year's candy laden boxes.