This is part 2 of JJ and the Princess Girls. To see more activities, crafts, and princess girls visit part 1.

JJ and the Princess Girls

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Growing Candy Canes

The girls grew candy canes!

They had a cup with sugar and then mixed in some (or all in Ariel's case) red or green sprinkles.  They stirred it up and set it aside.
Arianna just hung out!
In the morning they had candy canes in their cups.
Annabelle wasn't convinced that they gres because there was plastic on them.  She enjoyed them though!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bulletin Board Repurposed

A long time ago I was given this gem

Its one of those gross old school bulletin boards.
I had always planned to just pull the green off and cover with something else.

I started by trying to get it off the frame.  Well, the frame broke.
I ended up just covering it and not having a frame.
I had some fancy trim that I was going to put around the edges.  Turns out that I only had enough for 2 edges, so I just did one edge.

Even though this didn't go as I had planned, I think the final product is pretty sweet.  It is more of a picture than a bulletin board.

A Dream Come True

A few years ago, Annabelle fell in love with the Barbie and the Nutcracker movie.
She has wanted her very own nutcracker for a long time. 
Every year I would pick up a nutcracker and then I would put it back.
I'm not sure why I never got one, I guess I didn't want to spend the money on one since she was so young.
This year her dream came true.  I picked her up from school and this guy was sitting on her seat.
She loves him so much.  She wants to keep him out all year to play with, but we are going to carefully pack him away.  I think it will be more exciting to pull out at Christmas time if she kind of forgets about him.

Sweet Hand Print

Ariel did some painting a few weeks ago.  Whenever we do painting the girls always end up looking like this

It cleans up really easily so I don't mind.
While she was in the tubby, I was cleaning up and found this on the chair
It is my sweet little girl's handprint with a heart in the middle.

Sometimes she is something else and I am not as sweet to her as I want to be.
Then I see this and I am reminded of this verse
Psalm 127:3
Children are a gift from the LORD;
they are a reward from him.

Name Signs

About a year ago I went to a Ladies Night Out at church to make signs.

I ordered some signs with the girls' names to make at home.

I finally got around to making them.  I had the wood, letters, paint, and brush so I'm not sure why I never made them.

Anyway, they turned out really cute.  I am hoping to put them in the girls' room above their beds. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

NInjago Time

A month or so ago I told my nephew that I would make him Ninjago cookies for his birthday treat.

I looked around pinterest for some inspiration and found these

I decided I wanted to do the yellow face and the not so flat white part.
I found this recipe for the yellow icing.  I like how it went on and stayed where I put it.
I was planning on doing the eyes with just melted chocolate, but then I remembered that I had these!!
Candy Eyes!  (Doesn't everyone have these on hand?)
I was a little worried that they would make the ninjago guys look too sweet and not mean, so I played around a bit.
I used these Meijer brand sugar cookies (the chocolate chip ones are super yummy!)

I used the frosting I made and tinted it yellow (Arianna tinted her hand yellow).  I put it in my pampered chef frosting squeezy things with a small hole top.  I made sort of a rounded rectangle shape for the face.  While it was still wet I put the eyes on.

 I let that harden for a little while.  It didn't really take that long.  I then used just whipped frosting from a container.  I put it in the pampered chef thing and used a slanty hole topper.  I bought this topper (not sure what you really call those things) especially for these cookies because I thought it would look like cloth.
Right now he still looks pretty friendly.  Almost like Gerbert covered up :)

For the eyebrows, I melted chocoalte chips (because I always have tons on hand, right colleen?).  I put them in the pampered chef thing with the little hole top.

I ran out of candy eyes.  I really like the look of the candy eyes better,.

I thought it would be nice to  make some girl ninjagos for the girls in Caden's class, so I added a little bow.

I think the bow turned out really cute.
What wasn't cute was when I tried to add a smile.  She looked a little creepy, so I took it off.

I put the cookies in little baggies and brought them to Caden for his birthday.

These cookies took a lot of time to make, but it was totally worth it for him. 
Happy Birthday Caden!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gingerbread Nativity

We made gingerbread nativities.
I saw this on pinterest (because I would never think of this on my own)
I thought it would be easier than a house and more meaningful.
I also liked it because I felt I didn't need as much candy to decorate it.  And since Karen H. is no longer teaching kindergarten and I am not at Lakeshore I am not getting bags of free candy :)

I took regular graham crackers and just glued them together.  I didn't want to mess around with frosting for a couple reasons:
1.  I didn't really want to make it
2.  I didn't think it would actually hold the stable together

I glued some cardboard (inside out cereal boxes) to the back.
The only candy I bought was:  Tootsie rolls, gummy fruity pieces, and mini milky way bars

I did this part by myself before we started.  I figured it didn't have to look perfect (which is a bit hard for me) because it was a stable and I'm sure it wasn't built perfectly all those years ago.
Before we started I did read the Christmas Story to everyone (had to get that anticipatory set in there, although I'm sure the piles of candy would have worked too)

(my sister in law brought her nephew)
Everyone enjoyed figuring how they wanted to make their characters.  We made a donky out of the candy bar, tootsie rolls, and toothpicks.  We made Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.  I glued some crackers on an angle to make a manger.  We used big marshmallows and tootsie rolls for the sheep.
Oh, yeah, I forgot, I also made hay.  I had some coconut left over from when I tried to make the Girl Scout Samoa cookies (not that great).  I just toasted it in the oven so it was hay colored.  We used elmer's glue to glue that to the manger, stable, and ground.
We also made a star on top of the stable.

Tucker's, Annabelle and Ariel's, Caden's

The girls were really proud of their nativity.  They did a great job thinking about all the parts of the nativity.  If you are wondering about that thing on the top - it is a spider.  Ariel said the stable would probably have spiders, and she is probably right.

I love making gingerbread houses with the girls, but I like that this is more meaningful.  I hope this becomes something we do every year.

Luke 2:12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I love the verse from Isaiah.  Such a great reminder that Jesus was born in such a humble way.  And not only that he was born, but that he was born to die for our sins. 

I want my girls to know that Christmas is so great because it gave us the greatest gift ever.  Because Jesus was born, we get to live in heaven with Him forever. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Just Kids

I sometimes forget that my kid are kids and don't need to act like mini adults.  They are spontaneous, excited, in awe of life and the world, creative.  *Maybe I need to be more like a kid*

I usually have this problem with Ariel.  She is 3 and the middle baby girl.  I know she is too big to act like a baby, but I forget she is too little to act like Annabelle.  Jumping off of things seems like a good idea to her.  She wants to make decisions herself.  She takes more than the .5 second I provide her sometimes to process what I say to her. 
I told Annabelle to tell me, "She is only 3" when I stat to lose my patience with her.  This actually works.  A bit humbling when your child notices that you aren't being patient.

I try to think about how she feels and what she is thinking and give her a bit longer to process what I am saying or give her time to finish what she is doing before I make her transition to something else.

I found this blog one time and  every once in awhile I come back to it.  Yesterday I decided to see what she was up to.
This blog post was perfect for me.  Her little girls sounds just like Ariel.

I like how she says this:
She has taught me to let her be her. Not box her into my idea of "good." To smile when others frown upon her extroverted ways, to not worry that others might think I don't already spend hours teaching and training her. She has taught me to laugh again - like Shelton did when he was little. . .

She has reminded me how important it is to accept our children - more than accept, but enjoy their differences - and let their uniqueness shine.

I need to remind myself of this often:
This past week I was headed out for errands and I had gotten all the girls ready and myself and I was loading the stroller into the back of the car and there Lakelyn was. She had packed her own little bag and while I had gone to get the stroller she had managed to completely undress and change into a dancing costume. I opened the back end of the car and there she sat totally un-ready once again.

My face said it all and my mouth with it, "Noooo!" I said, not raising my voice but in a completely defeated tone of voice that directly let her know I was not happy. I hung my head, closed my eyes for a second. When I raised my head again to look at her, there she sat in her little tutu with elephant sized tears welling in her big black eyes. I had crushed her.

She hadn't disobeyed me. I hadn't even thought to tell her, "Lakelyn, now don't completely change clothes once mommy puts you in the car." I didn't even know she had managed to take her little pink backpack with her.

She began to sob. I leaned over and I wrapped her in my arms. In that moment all I heard in my head was, "She is three." I'm pretty sure that is how the Holy Spirit speaks, matter of fact. Holding her close and stroking her hair, "Oh Baby, Mommy is sorry. Please forgive me. . ." and I continued to whisper as if talking to myself, "She is only three. Three. Don't expect her to act and think like an adult. . . Baby, Mommy loves you. It's okay, I'm not mad, I love you Baby."

I plan to pray this more:
"God, help me to not expect my children to be mini-adults. Help me to train them to love others and to love God but help me to let them just be kids. They don't need to carry shame for being their age."

So when I look at my girls, especially Ariel, and see that they are behaving like children, I am very happy.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that just because they don't act all grown up, they are my perfect sweetie girls.

I just need to do what Proverbs 22:6 says (Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.)  It is okay if they are loud and sometimes run around as long as they Love Jesus and Love Others.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


This is quite a long post.  I hope you do take the time to read it all though.

I did it!  I signed up to be a Thirty-One Consultant.
I actually took a lot of time thinking about doing this before I actually decided to go for it.
I really feel like this is something the Lord is wanting me to do.  The idea of being a consultant has come to me a few times.

In June, I got laid off from my job.  The next week I was reading a blog I follow and they were doing a giveaway to become a consultant and receive the start-up kit for free.  I didn't win the give away so I just sort of forgot about it.
This summer I went to a Thirty-One party and really considered becoming a consultant.  I figured I would wait until fall.  Fall came and I was busy being a mom.
A couple weeks ago the person who offered the giveaway contacted me.  I e-mailed her and talked to her on the phone.  I talked with James and we decided it would be something to try.

I am feeling really good about my decision.  I feel like the Lord has put this opportunity in my path 3 times.  I needed to listen to what he was telling me. 
So now I have signed up to sell Thirty-One bags and am having an Open House November 30 and December 1.  I am really excited to see where this will go.

I have not been working, but I would like to make some money to contribute to our family.  I did search for a teaching job, but I don't think the Lord wants me teaching right now.  I think He wants me home taking care of my family and home (which is something I have always wanted to do). 
I kept wondering why every door for a teaching job was closing, but then I thought about it differently.  The doors weren't closing because they actually weren't opening (no interview, no leads, no jobs).  I realized the Lord who loves me and knows my heart's desire was actually opening the door I desired. 

This is the Bible in action!!! 
Psalm 37:4 says, Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

I delight myself in the Lord.  I trust Him.  I love Him.  I talk to Him daily.  I teach my girls about Him and His love.  I read to learn more about Him.
He knows what I want, what I desire.  And He gave it to me! (with a special little unplanned bonus).  Because I got laid off from my job because of budget cuts, I qualified for unemployment.  How Awesome is He?  My Lord was paying me to stay home and have what my heart desired!

So here I am taking this step and giving it my all. 

It would be strange for me to not add a photo of these sweet girlies of mine!

Friday, November 16, 2012

This and That

I love the holidays. 
I have been listening to Christmas music for about a month now.
It's not as bad as you might think - I listen to Instrumental Christmas songs about 90% of the time.  When I feel like actual songs I listen to

I actually made something from Pinterest.  My cousin Danae pinned this yummy looking salad and I decided to try it for my lunch today.  I'm all by myself today so I had time to make it.  I decided to try chickpeas ( I only have had them as hummus).  They are okay, I can eat them, but I can also do without them.  I looked up the health benefits of chickpeas and they are really quite good for you.  I might try to mix them into more things now.
*Obviously not my picture (I don't take great pictures) and that is a ton of salad.
I cut the recipe in half-ish and had a large bowl of salad, but I was able to eat it all.
I am almost done with my Christmas shopping.  That's right DONE!!!  My goal is to be done by Black Friday.  I only need to make one more online purchase and wait for one more toy to come in at Meijers, then I am done with stockings and present for everyone.
I decided to change my Christmas decor this year.  I am starting small though because to completely change everything would be a bit pricy.  I'll wait for after Christmas clearance. 
I usually do a combination of red, white, green, and gold. 
This year I decided to do bright colors! 
This is my wrapping paper
My sister-in-law took the girls pictures.  I had them wear bright stripped shirts and play with lights.  Here is how the card turned out.  It's tricky to get 3 children happy and wanting their picture taken at the same time, but I think it is cute.


Well while my girls are at school and playgroup I am going to enjoy a few hours to myself just relaxing!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Remembering Christ at Christmas

I found this idea on Pinterest and thought it was really great.  I am really hoping I actually do this.
In place of where their stockings normally hang, there are 3 “shepherds pouches” hanging from December 1st-December 24th. The actual pouches aren’t particularly significant except that they represent simpleness and not drawing attention to themselves. (As in not serving other people to get praise.)
I started off talking about whose birthday was coming up.
What do you do on birthdays?
We give presents!
How do we give presents to Jesus who is invisible? How do we give to the King?
Blank stares.
I bring out the Bible and read Matthew 25:40: And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
This is how we give to the King. We love and care for others. Sacrifice. Service. Chores without grumbling. Servant’s hearts. Loving attitudes.
“During the month of December, anytime daddy or I see you guys serving each other or others, doing chores with a happy heart, serving others at school (yes, James is writing an e-mail to Rilyn and Ella’s teachers asking them to e-mail us if they see our daughters serving), we will put money in your shepherds pouch.” (I went to the bank earlier this week and got out 30 one dollar bills and $20 in quarters.)
On December 24th, we will count up all the money in their shepherds pouches. We will then go to Compassion’s gift catalog and pick something to give to someone in need with all the money they made. They browsed the catalog last night and were so excited that they could give a goat to a village! :)
Cultivating a spirit of self-sacrifice is hard for us – harder still for children during this season and in this consumeristic culture, who are marketed to constantly. We hope the visual reminder of the shepherd’s pouch being in view, front and center, during these weeks helps us to maintain focus.
And so…imperfectly, we remind ourselves that the magnificent event we celebrate on December 25 began with Someone’s fierce and determined desire to love a faraway people.

*I copied this from here,  I tried to pin it, but it didn't work and I want to remember this.  So this post is really for myself, but I hope you like it too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How are they doing?

I really like being home and not working. 
I wondered if I was going to miss going to work, but I really don't.
The other day I did start to miss the kids a little bit.  I worked at Lakeshore for 6 years so I feel like I know some of the kids pretty good.

I started think about A&E and wondered if their mom had  her baby yet and if it was another gir.
Is A doing okay?  I really miss his hugs every single time I see him.
How about S?  Is she remembering anything?  Has she discovered any new letters in the alphabet?
Is F learning more English?
How is L's soccer team doing?  Is he in Mexico right now?
Is J still struggling with her self-image?  Is anyone letting her know she is beautiful just the way she is?
What new jokes has J come up with?
Has anybody come back that has been gone a couple years?
I have grown to love my students and geniunely care for them, their situations, and their families.

I hope they think of me through the years remember that I taught them with my heart. 

Check out these sweet girls.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fine Motor with Little Tikes

I am always looking for something to do with Arianna when i am trying ot make dinner.  She is usually hungry around that time and needs a small snack to get her through to dinner.

The other day I gave her an empty egg carton and some Apple Jacks.  She had to use her little fingers to pick out her snack.  This kept her busy for quite awhile.   

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lunch Time with LoLo

Everyday I ask Ariel what she wants for lunch.
Everyday she said, "I'll have what I oojally (usually) have.  You know what it is."

She likes apple slices or grapes, turkey sandwich, and a piece of floppy cheese.  She used to be okay with a slice of american cheese, but she has now discovered provolone.
Provolone is a little pricy for a 3 year old when I buy it in the package.  Today I got smart and had the deli slice it super thin for me.  I got a ton more slices and it was cheaper!

I let Ariel eat her lunch while she watches TV.  She is a pretty slow eater so this way she isn't at the table forever.  Plus its kinda of a special thing she gets to do when she is the only one eating lunch (Arianna us usually taking a nap at this time).