Friday, December 19, 2014

So this is Christmas

Just doing a little editing while listening to Christmas music (three guesses to which song) and had to share these pictures I snapped while Jasper and Tindra were having their nightly "stare at the Christmas tree before bed." I just love these two so much. 

 photo signature-9_zpse3c2de84.png

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The North Pole

For the past two years, ever since I first heard about it, I have wanted to take the kiddos up to the North Pole.  But two years ago we were gone when we could have gone, and last year it was bitter cold, like high of 3-4 for weeks. And the North Pole is filled with rides and outdoor activities, not my idea of a good time while battling frost bite.

But this year? The weather surrounding Thanksgiving was gorgeous, in the 40's and 50's (and even 60's!) and Drew had FOUR days off so we just had to go.

We didn't tell them where we were going Friday morning when we headed out the door, just that we were headed somewhere fun! After a stop at Krispy Kreme, because come on, we had to, off to the North Pole we went! Its a little bit in the mountains, so it took about 90 minutes to get there, but the kids were perfect in the car. We are blessed to have such amazing travelers!

Apparently we chose the busiest week of the year to go, so we had a wait to get in, but once we were in, the only time we really had to wait in line for more than 5-10 minutes was for lunch. 
By the end of the day I had dubbed myself professional line holder. I could only go on a few rides, so I basically just stood in line and watched the kids and Drew (and sometimes just the kids) go on rides. But even so, the day was perfect. The kids were in Heaven. Which means I was, watching their faces. And I might have shed a tear or two seeing their faces light up again and again, or maybe it was the bright mountain sun..Regardless, seeing their faces so lit up all day, completely priceless. 
We couldn't believe how much of a little thrill seeker Tindra is. She wanted to go on every ride, again and again. Even the ones we thought would be a bit scary/too fast for her. Nope, too fast is apparently Not in her vocabulary. If it spun around and around? It got bonus points. She definitely did Not get that from her mamma. 
It's been a couple weeks and the kids are still talking about when they went to the North Pole. I can't wait to take them again next year! 

 photo signature-9_zpse3c2de84.png

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Soft Toys for Education with Ikea

Jasper, my 7 year old second grader loves school. Absolutely loves it. Every single week day he's eager to get dressed, eat breakfast, help make his lunch and make sure his homework and library books are in his back pack. I also loved school, so having him love it is so extremely important to me. But here's the thing, he didn't always love it. 

Preschool and kindergarten went well for him. I actually probably even told people he loved school, because he didn't complain a whole lot and enjoyed seeing his friends every day, he was learning a lot, so that was good enough right? It wasn't until a couple of months into first grade that he really developed a real passion for school. And reading and writing especially. He had this great teacher last year, we will call him Mr. D.  Mr. D made learning so much fun! Jaspers exact words. He incorporated singing and dancing into their daily learning, and showed just how much fun learning and school really can be.   All of a sudden, instead of asking to watch an episode of his favorite show on TV after dinner/homework was done, he asked if we could write a story together. Instead of spending his last few minutes every night playing with his spiderman toys, he asked if we could climb in bed and take turns reading Harry Potter to each other  (true life, my 7 year old reads Harry Potter!) 

I had the chance to volunteer one afternoon last year and my favorite part was just sitting in the back observing Mr. D and the kids. They sang and danced, to help get their energy out, before sitting down for writing time. They had the chance to write and share their poetry to the class during a poetry slam session, Jasper's personal favorite. I mean, getting 6 and 7 year olds excited about poetry? That takes some skill. But he did it! 

Before Mr. D's class Jasper had never talked about writing other than something he had to do at school and sometimes for homework. Now he writes poetry, keeps a journal, talks about being an author when he grows up and absolutely loves to read. Last year at their end of year assembly, all the 1st graders were given an award, for something they were best in. Awards such as, best at mime, best line dancer, best at freeze tag, etc. Jasper won the award for 'Best Writer'.  As someone who was inspired by my senior year of high school AP English teacher to write, I couldn't be more proud. I didn't have a teacher that brought out that passion in me till I was almost done with high school, and at just 6 years old Jasper found that inspiration! We continue to read and write together daily, and that passion is only growing stronger as his vocabulary and mind grows.
Over the weekend we went to IKEA, as many of you know is pretty much my happy place, to stock up on my must have Swedish goodies and to grab lunch.  

Now through January 3rd, 2015, IKEA Foundation will donate $1  for every children's book and soft toy sold to children's education through UNICEF and Save the Children. Last year alone, IKEA raised over 13 million for this very important cause. 
 We decided to have the kiddos pick out a stuffed animal for their new baby brother, and they actually agreed on something- the pig! So he came home with us. We also picked out  a couple new cuddly guys for the youngest children of the family we adopted for Christmas this year. Giving the gift of education to underprivileged children has never been easier!

So if there are any fellow last minute Christmas shoppers, this year, help give the gift of education! Swing by IKEA for some books and stuffed animals (and delicious meatballs for yourself) and you will not only have some happy kiddos on Christmas morning, you will feel amazing about the difference you are helping make in many children's lives. 
 photo signature-9_zpse3c2de84.png
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy Monday!

Hope you guys all had a terrific weekend! Ours started out with no real plans, and ended up pretty busy. Just the kind of weekend we love around here! A little recap if you will.

Friday night we were planning on attending the holiday lighted parade in downtown Denver like years past, but after seeing Facebook groups planning protests for the parade, we decided to skip it. I didn't want to be apart of some stampede or craziness, or be stuck downtown if things got really crazy. It turned out not to get too wild, but I parts of the parade had to get rerouted do to people laying in the street, and people jumped in yelling behind santa? Not something I need to explain to my kids yet I don't think. Also heard reports of young kids getting knocked down with signs from the protestors. Sad that this happened at a parade for children. Instead of going, we cuddled up on the couch with the Grinch and hot chocolate. Not a bad friday evening!

Saturday we went to a neighborhood community Santa event that I had heard about on a Moms group I'm in. It's about 25 minutes from where we are now, but if we end up moving in that direction it would be only 10-15 minutes from us so I kind of wanted to go check out that community. Not going to lie, we felt a bit like 'Christmas crashers.' It was clear most people knew each other, even though its a little suburb of the city, it felt very small town like which was super cozy, but not something we experience here in the middle of Denver! The kids got to write letters to santa, play in a ginger bread house, play some lawn games, get their face painted and see Santa. It was one of the slooooowest lines ever, but when it was finally our turn I realized why. He talked to each kid for several minutes which was super cute. Tindra, who has been terrified of Santa actually sat on his lap, but kept her arms up so she could  touch him as little as possible. Baby steps! Jasper was thrilled to give his wish list, a basketball hoop and a pump for his basketball..that's it. So practical huh? And Tindra asked for a Elsa dress. Shocker. 

^Notice her right arm, hovering above Santa's arm so she wouldn't have to touch him^
Saturday evening I took Jasper to a ninja birthday party, and since then he hasn't stopped asking to play ninja outside. He was seriously in heaven. While J and I were at his birthday party, Tindra was at home getting a mani/pedi from dad so it's safe to say she had a good evening as well. 

Sunday we had decided would be a relaxing day at home before heading to Swedish class in the afternoon, but I had the brilliant idea to take the kids swimming at 8 AM. So we found a rec center that was open and headed off for a few hours of swimming. I guess I forgot how much these kids love swimming, since they haven't been in a pool since August, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have been as excited if I had announced that we were going to Disney World. And as thrilled as I was to put on a swim suit. In public, as soon as I was floating in the little lazy river on my back I quickly forgot about it. I forgot how weightless you feel in the pool, and when you are growing a most likely larger than average baby, that is a priceless feeling. I kept saying to Drew over and over again ' I don't even feel pregnant!' and as much as I love growing being a mother and am thrilled to get to do it again, I just don't enjoy the feeling of pregnant 99% of the time. So a few hours in the pool felt amazing. We decided this has to happen more often this winter. 

Don't forget to enter the halo giveaway! It ends in a few days, and come back for another amazing giveaway I will have up in the next day or two
 photo signature-9_zpse3c2de84.png

Friday, December 5, 2014

I'm Waiting.

For that second trimester energy. Since I've got just a week or two (or three? Everyone says different) left of second tri and…still no energy? I'm guessing it's not going to show it's face this pregnancy. 
I have 5 half finished posts I've been working on over the past two week.s And every day that I put Tindra down for her hap I have high intentions to sit down at my computer and blog. I even go sit at my desk (which we moved out of the office and into the downstairs living room/play room  in hopes that I'll be able to work a little more) but then I see my couch, right next to my computer. Just calling me. "Come lay down, for just a few minutes, you deserve it" And I shut down my computer and go lay down, you know. Just for a few minutes. And 90 minutes later, I hear Tindra calling me from her room telling me she's 'all done sweeping.' 
But I'm alive. Barely. Just thought I should check in after two emails from sweet readers asking me where I am/ how I am doing. 
This week has been more energy sucking than usual, so hopefully next week I'll be back with those posts! Thanks for sticking around, you guys are great. 
 photo signature-9_zpse3c2de84.png