Monday, September 15, 2014

Missouri Vacation

Missouri Sign

Last week we packed our bags and did something we hadn't done since having the girls...went on a real family vacation.  We were so excited to head to St. Louis and meet up with some incredible friends for a weekend of fun.  This was my first time in St. Louis, and the girls' first trip into the state of Missouri.  Which is really pretty ridiculous since we live so very close to the border.  I might have already planned a few more small trips back over to see some of the things we just couldn't fit into our trip this time.

Really I'm not sure why we don't do more sightseeing right here around us.  There always seems to be so much going on, and to be perfectly honest we've all become quite happy to just be at home.  I think we'll make a real effort to start getting out more and seeing the fun (and funny) things around us.

The girls were mostly excited for their very first hotel stay, and it didn't take them long at all to make themselves right at home.  In fact they said they wished they could live at the hotel forever.  I guess not having to make your own bed is a pretty sweet deal.  I was pretty fond of that part too.

Now I just need to upload and sort through the probably 4000 pictures I took while we were gone.  

Missouri Vacation 1

Missouri Vacation 3

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back to (Dance) School

For weeks now I've seen all the back to school pictures being posted and we're just over here, still doing what we do.  I'll admit I considered taking our own version, a "not back to school" picture maybe, but that just seemed sort of silly for us.  What we have, however, is our back to dance pictures and really, that's good enough for us.  The girls call it dance school anyway so we're going with it.

Ballerina Kait 3

Ballerina Kait 1

Ballerina Kinsley 2

Ballerina Kinsley 1

First Day of Tap 1

First Day of Tap 2

For us the return to dance class marks the beginning of the transition into Autumn and it has become a great way for us to start to embrace that change.  It's the start of returning to our Autumn rhythm and back to having a few scheduled activities in our daily rhythm as well.  Plus, my gosh they're cute in those dance clothes.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Late Summer Seasonal Table

While most days I feel as though this entire year has sped past in the blink of an eye, I simultaneously feel as though Summer is beginning to drag on forever.

I'm really working on waiting until as close to the Autumn Equinox as possible to begin making seasonal changes, but it is getting harder and harder to resist the temptation.

In an effort to pacify our urges for a change of decor I decided our seasonal table was in need of a late summer makeover.  Kinsley and I spent some time this afternoon making some new peg dolls and updating the table. 

Late Summer Table 1

Late Summer Table 2

Late Summer Table 4

Our little sunflower maiden is rushing about trying to harvest her sunflowers before the birds eat up all of the seeds.  Those pesky birds!  If they'd only wait a bit they'd realize she was planning on leaving plenty for them to enjoy as well.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Doll Clothes Swap

I spent the weekend sewing my fingers to the bone trying to finish up last minute details on my offerings for a doll clothes and accessories swap I joined. Okay, so I was using the sewing machine but still, it's a lot of work. Nothing like a looming deadline to make me incredibly productive.  When I first signed up for the swap I knew I wanted to do something Christmas themed and with the way my girls treat their dolls like part of the family it only made sense that they'd need some stockings to fill at Christmas.  And of course, my girls think that every occasion calls for a new mama made dress.

Doll Swap 3

Doll Swap 1

Doll Swap 2

Doll Swap 4

Doll Swap 5

Doll Swap 6

I made six holiday peasant dresses and six little Christmas stockings.  We also included a few little wooden presents for the dolls to find in their stockings.  These sets are on their way to their new homes and we're anxiously awaiting our items in return.  These swaps are quickly becoming addictive, but they are so much fun.  Though I have to say I wouldn't mind my next few sewing projects being full sized.  It always surprises me that these little projects can take as much time to complete as their full size counterparts.  Maybe I'll actually manage to make our new Christmas stockings this year...

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Sometimes being a mama to two little girls is hard, really hard.  I mean bring you to tears hard.  Maybe it's all parenting in general, my personal experience just happens to be with girls.  Two little girls who couldn't be more different even if they had tried.  And sometimes, sometimes that makes for some really long days.

But sometimes (and thankfully more often than not around here) the days are really really good.  And sometimes in the midst of what you're sure is going to be an incredibly long (and likely not so good) day you can experience some of the best moments of motherhood.  This was my experience yesterday afternoon when we had to make a trip to the emergency room with both girls in tow.  Kinsley hasn't been feeling well for several days and we were reaching the point of doubting ourselves even though we were sure it was only the stomach virus that has been taking out most of our area.  With kids all starting back to school around us it was only a matter of time before it started happening.  Even homeschoolers get caught up in that sort of thing unfortunately.   

Regardless the girls and I made the trek in for what ended up being a 7 hour stay.  Seven hours.  In the emergency room with a sick girl and a four year old that doesn't care for being anywhere other than her home.  Sounds great right?  That's what I though too, but it turned out to be such a rewarding and uplifting experience for us all.  

I watched as my littlest girl completely took over the role of caretaker that normally belongs to her older sister.  She spent the entire time trying everything she could think of to help her sister feel better.  She took this new role very seriously and watching the love and concern on her face was an amazing experience.  Making sure she was well covered by her blanket, offering to get her snacks or water, trying to cheer her up, and generally just doing her best to care for her.  

Even Kinsley, in all her discomfort was looking out for her little sister's well being too.  When Kaitlyn was cold she pulled her in close so they could both snuggle under the same blanket to say warm.  And while I was explaining to Kaitlyn that we'd have to wait to get a snack because the vending machines were on the other side of the hospital and we couldn't leave her sister alone, Kinsley spoke up saying "Mama, I don't want sissy to be hungry so I can be strong and walk there." just so that her sister could be happy.  My loves.
When the time came for blood work to be done Kinsley immediately started to well up with tears and on the walk over to the lab Kaitlyn stood right by her.  Offering her best advice from her memories of her time at the doctor's and telling her excitedly that it was the very same thing that she had to do herself.  When the time for the needle came Kaitlyn took her sister by the hand and kept telling her "it's not bad sissy, it doesn't hurt." over and over again.  It was all I could do to hold myself together at that point.  When these moments of pure sisterly love shine through I wish I could freeze time so those moments could last forever.  


Sitting in the exam room waiting to be discharged I couldn't help but snap this one quick picture.  Kinsley still upset from the shot, but not wanting me to comfort her.  Kaitlyn hopped up right behind her and did the only thing she knew to do, rub her back for her.  It's one of Kinsley's very favorite things, and in that moment was the perfect way to care for her.  So often as parents we want to jump in and take all their pain away, and sometimes that isn't possible...and sometimes it might not even be our job.

Most days I'm hoping that they learn just a little bit of what I'm trying to teach them, but yesterday they were the ones to teach me a great lesson.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Patriotic Custom Doll

Patriot Doll 1

I haven't done any doll making in quite some time but when I received a message about this custom doll I couldn't turn it down.  What can I say?  I definitely have a soft spot for military families in need of dolls.  Making him might have given me the stuffie making bug again as I've picked up some new fabrics and have been pulling out some of my favorite Bit of Whimsy patterns again.   Now to just complete some of the projects and swaps already on my table before I cut into those...better get back to work.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sunflower House

Sunflower House 11

Sunflower House 8

Every summer I have this list in my head (and sometimes on paper, you know I love my lists) of things I'd like to try with the girls.  A fun project on Pinterest that caught my eye, a favorite seasonal activity that we always look forward to, or maybe a fun adventure to go on.  This year we finally completed something that has been on my list for at least two summers now - a sunflower house.  Truthfully this is one of those projects that I have no idea why we didn't complete sooner.  It was really very simple to do and we've had so very much fun with it all summer long.  

We simply started with a few seed packets we found at the local feed store and an open area of yard.  We pulled out all the grass in the area we wanted to plant in and the girls went right to work planting their seeds.

Sunflower House 1

Sunflower House 3

Sunflower House 2

We used some old stakes we had lying about to mark the area so that they didn't accidentally get mowed over when Daddy was mowing the yard.  Ask us how we new that would be necessary...ahem.  They may have worked a bit too well because Daddy was extra careful around our sunflowers and the girls and I did a lot of grass trimming with scissors this summer.  Surprisingly we all really enjoyed taking that extra step to ensure the safety of our beloved flowers. 

Sunflower House 4

Sunflower House 5

It's easy to see in this picture that we weren't necessarily planting our seeds very evenly as we went, but they still grew perfectly well.  Next year I do believe we'll make our planting track at least twice as wide giving ourselves a chance to make our "walls" a bit thicker and our hideout even more secretive.  All in all we're very pleased with our first attempt and have had so much fun with such a simple project.  The girls have loved watching their flowers grow into something so large and I have loved watching their enthusiasm for growing develop.

Sunflower House 10

Now that summer is coming to a close we're watching some of our sunflower heads begin to droop and we're readying to move into the next stage of growing sunflowers...harvesting!  Who knew a little seed could provide so much lasting enjoyment.