Friday, August 30, 2013

View My Recent Photo Book!

I just completed part four of our 2012 year in digital scrapbook layouts, and I ordered the pages printed in a Photo Book from Shutterfly.  After trying several different photo book websites, Shutterfly is the only one I use now!  I think their site is the easiest to use, their prices are the best, and the product is superb.  They have a widget now that lets me share my completed book in digital form, so take a look!


Photo Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

Create a gorgeous, high quality wedding photo album at Shutterfly.com.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for good friends!  Last weekend we had the blessing of spending some time with college friends.  Our friends Donny & Erika live in Connecticut, and Samantha and her husband Doug live in New Hampshire.  We all met at Erika’s house for a fun day!  There was lots of yummy food, quite a few babies, toddlers running all over, a couple games of Settlers of Catan, and a plate of delicious Samoa Brownies!  It was a great, relaxing day.  The kids even did well in the car!

Visit at the Meader's House
Elaine is really into the Lone Ranger.  Erika made her day when she brought this dinosaur down from the attic.  It looks much more like a horse than the rocking chair does!

Visit at the Meader's House
Kevin didn’t want to be left out of the fun!

Visit at the Meader's House
Kevin, Erika, Donny, and Cassie

Visit at the Meader's House
The “big” kiddos – Nolan (2), Cassie (21 mo.), Kevin (3), and Elaine (3.5)

Visit at the Meader's House  Visit at the Meader's House
Samantha, Erika, and I were friends in college. This was the first time I met Sam’s husband Doug.  Their daughter Sophie is 6 months!

Visit at the Meader's House
The babies – Sophie (6 mo.) and the twins (3.5 mo.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

:: Elaine washed the breakfast dishes {I only helped a little at the end}Elaine Washing Dishes

Elaine Washing Dishes

:: Nehemiah helped put out the fire
Fireman Nehemiah

:: Nehemiah loves playtime!
Nehemiah's Toys

:: Little Man – working hard on this “potty chair” thing
Nolan on the Potty

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Twinsie Bath Time

All of my kiddos really like bath time, but Liberty and Nehemiah particularly enjoy the water!  Liberty can be screaming her head off one second, but as soon as her toes touch the water she is smiling and calm!

Twins Bathtime

It would seem like a good idea to bathe both kiddos together, but sometimes it is just more of a mess!  Twice as many clothes to remove, twice as many opportunities to get peed on, and twice as much screaming because the baby is cold after they come out of the water!  It didn’t take them long to start “fighting” while I prepared the bath water today!

Twins Bathtime
“Truce”

Twins Bathtime
And this was before she got in the water!

Twins Bathtime
Love her eyes!

Twins Bathtime
Bath time done!

Kids Were Here

Kids Were Here

Kids Were Here

Monday, August 19, 2013

ABC Memory Verses

When Elaine was about 18 months old, I printed off some uber basic memory verses to teach her.  They were short, partial verses like, “Be ye kind” or “God is love.”  I put an icon or picture on each verse to help her learn by association and understand the verses better.  I think we had 8 or 10 verses to learn.  She did very well, and now I am using those verses with Nolan.

But this summer Elaine was encouraged several times to learn longer verses.  She got to participate in our Summer Adventure Club at church, and she learned a verse each night (trying to win the grand prize for her age group).  I was impressed with how easily she learned the verses.  Then she learned all of Romans 6:23 for a friend’s VBS program.  She then quoted it to Grandma, Pastor, and her Sunday School teacher too.  And now each Sunday she wants to go to Sunday School and know her verse.

For a while I have wanted to do ABC memory verses.  But all of the ones I found to print for free were in a different Bible version.  And I didn’t want to pay for something that I could easily make myself.  Trouble was…I didn’t make time to work on it, until recently.  Once I got started I found it was very easy! 

I have three different ABC verse lists that I have copied over the last couple of years.  I went through them and picked the best one for each letter.  I wanted to be able to reinforce her alphabet, teach her what each letter looks like (uppercase and lowercase), and then learn the phonics sound too.  The bonus in all of it is that she will also be hiding God’s Word in her heart.

Here’s what I came up with.  I made each letter/verse an 8”x5” jpg image, then printed them two to a page.  With this size they are large enough for Elaine to easily work with, but I can still print and laminate two per page, saving money.  I punched holes and used binder rings to make a book.

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img_3538

img_3540

If you would like to “borrow” my file for your personal use, I would be happy to share!  You can download the PDF from my DropBox by clicking here.  You don’t need a DropBox account to access it.  If you can’t get that to work, I have also shared it on Google Drive here.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dancing Lone Ranger

My kiddos have been watching the old, original episodes of “The Lone Ranger” show.  I started putting it on in the hopes that Nolan would want to be a cowboy instead of a princess.  But…it was Elaine that picked up on the show!  She is always the Lone Ranger and Nolan is Tonto (usually dressed as a princess).  I have the theme song on one of my cowboy soundtracks, so I put the music on for them the other day when we were cleaning.  Now they love to dance to the Lone Ranger!  (It’s the William Tell Overture).

This video is a little long, but it’s mostly for the grandparents to enjoy!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

We love to play dress-up around here…

My Kids Love to Dress Up

My Kids Love to Dress Up

My Kids Love to Dress Up

My Kids Love to Dress Up

My Kids Love to Dress Up
Nolan is inspecting his wardrobe…

And a Happy 32nd Anniversary to my parents!

Mom & Dad's Wedding
Apparently my mom has aged better than my dad…Elaine looked at this picture and said, “Mommy, who did Grandma get married to?”

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Twinsies 3 Month Portraits

Liberty 3 Month Portraits touched up
I tried taking some pictures the other day, but this was the best one I came up with.  Liberty just didn’t want to smile, but I was determined to capture it this month!

Liberty 3 Month Portraits
…and I finally succeeded!  She is definitely more stingy with her smiles than her brother, but a little conversation brings the smile right out!

Liberty 3 Month Portraits
This is more of the typical expression we see these days!

Liberty 3 Month Portraits
I finally found a headband at the store that was small enough to stay on her head!  I love the big flower look!

Nehemiah 3 month Portraits
This is the “Little Old Man”

Nehemiah 3 month Portraits
He didn’t really want to smile at me today, so this is the best I came up with!

Nehemiah 3 month Portraits

Nehemiah 3 month Portraits
His toes are always in motion – I love them!

Nehemiah 3 month Portraits
Nehemiah was determined to stick his hand up in the air like that.  What a ham!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

A conglomeration from the past couple of weeks…

My Little Yankees_0001
Our friend Grant is determined to make Yankees fans out of the twins.  He snuck into the nursery during the service and changed their clothes into these shirts!!!

Grant with the Yankee Twins

Being a Yankees Fan is tough work!
But being a Yankees fan is tough work!

Nehemiah's Smiles
This little man smiles through every day!

Nolan is Potty Training!
Nolan is potty training!  {Shoot me now…I must be crazy!}

Nolan made a tent for Liberty
Nolan was so proud of himself for making a tent for Liberty!

Outfits from Auntie Mere
Outfits from Auntie Mere

Twins in the Bumbo
Sitting in the Bumbo for the first time!

Vacation, part 2–The Pittsfield Garden Tour

{Read part 1 here}

On Saturday Elaine and I joined Grandma Fezzi and Auntie Mere and some friends for the annual Pittsfield Garden Tour.  My mother-in-law has been attending this every year for some time now.  She started a tradition of decorating a new hat to wear each year.  Her group of ladies have become known as the “hat ladies”.  Ever since I found out about it, I have wanted to attend.  But…there was always something else on the agenda.  So this year I finally got to attend!  And I got a special treat because Elaine came along too.

Pittsfield Garden Tour

Pittsfield Garden Tour
Me, Mom Hamilton, Mere, and Elaine

We thought it was going to rain, but the Lord held it off until the tour was done.  We saw some amazing gardens!  It made me a bit jealous, and I found myself wishing I lived in the country!  There were seven stops on the tour this year.  We broke for lunch at Lauren Johnson’s house halfway through.

Pittsfield Garden Tour
:: The Hat Ladies ::
Michelle & Sarah Kunzmann, Auntie Mere, Lori, Mom Hamilton, Lauren Johnson, Me, and Elaine

Pittsfield Garden Tour
The Holly Hock House – a B&B run by an 85 year old lady who does all of the gardens herself.

Pittsfield Garden Tour
Mom’s hat, made to match her dress – perfectly!

Pittsfield Garden Tour
Elaine didn’t really want her picture taken… but I wanted one by the daisies – my favorites!

Pittsfield Garden Tour
Everyone’s hats

Pittsfield Garden Tour
Mere’s hat – very classy!

Pittsfield Garden Tour
I loved the way these looked – don’t know what they are called!

Pittsfield Garden Tour
My sign would say, “My Garden was alive last week.  Sorry you missed it.”  I somehow did NOT get the green thumb from my mom and grandpa!

Pittsfield Garden Tour
So many herbs sprinkled throughout the gardens!

Pittsfield Garden Tour

Pittsfield Garden Tour
Perhaps this house was Elaine’s favorite.  The hostess had chocolate chip cookies out for everyone!

Pittsfield Garden Tour   Pittsfield Garden Tour
I think I was told this purple flower is called a Pincusion flower?!?  Loved the rock footprints too!

Pittsfield Garden Tour
Can’t believe how big and grown up she is!

Pittsfield Garden Tour

Pittsfield Garden Tour
Sarah came along with her mom this year, and Elaine made a new friend!

At each house on the tour, there was a fairy house in the garden.  The little girls were given bubbles and told to blow bubbles at the fairy house to get the fairies to come out.  That was a hard one to explain to Elaine {since we know that fairies are not real!}  By the last stop, she had caught onto the game.  When she was handed her bubbles she looked at the nice man and said, “Is this for the fairies?”  Some of the little houses were very amazing  in their construction, though!

Pittsfield Garden Tour  Pittsfield Garden Tour
All of the little details – rope ladders, rock lined paths, berry wreaths on the doors…

Pittsfield Garden Tour
This one was my favorite!

Pittsfield Garden Tour

Pittsfield Garden Tour 
To give you an idea of how miniature it was…

Pittsfield Garden Tour
This one made me think of my dad – it was all antlers!

Pittsfield Garden Tour
Blowing bubbles to get the fairies out…she didn’t understand why it didn’t work!

Pittsfield Garden Tour
Erin joined us after the first stop.

We had a wonderful time!  It was something that my mom would greatly enjoy too.  Maybe one year we can all do it together!