Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Mini Christmas Photo Shoot

Just a few quick pics from a mini Christmas photo shoot I did with Cole and Chase:


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gingerbread Houses

We had a lovely gingerbread house building party the week before Christmas.  I set up some graham cracker houses (seriously the way to go... SO much easier and faster than using actual gingerbread!), set out some candy, and let the kiddos go to town!

 You guys, these kids made some epic gingerbread houses! The creativity and concentration was out of this world!
 As was the candy sampling... load 'em up with sugar and send 'em home, that's how I roll :)
 Chase even got in on the action, munching on some graham cracker!
 Poor Cole - just as he finished his house (which he worked on for over an hour!), he picked it up to bring it in to show me...and dropped it.  Gingerbread house, candy, and frosting in a huge crushed mess on the floor! I felt so bad for him I almost cried - but Cole just shrugged his shoulders and told me he had fun making it!
 Sara's (and sort of Inara's) finished product:
 Ben's finished product:
 Rachel's finished product:
Great memories!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Friends Gift Exchange

I am woefully behind on blogging all our fantastic Christmas activities, so be prepared for a dump of blog posts, slightly late!

We had the most fantastic gift exchange with our group of friends the week before Christmas.  Beautiful and thoughtful gifts were exchanged, delicious food was eaten, and great times were had.  I love the thought of our families growing up together, the start of some beautiful traditions!

Seriously, they're so attractive ;)

 Markie was sick, so she joined us via Skype.  Gotta love technology!
A perfect start to the most wonderful time of year!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

 We're all getting excited for Christmas around here!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Letter "A"


A few weeks ago in the bath, Chase discovered that Cole had painstakingly lined up all the foam letters and numbers alphabetically and numerically on the side of the bathtub.  Twenty five (missing the letter A) letters and ten numbers of all different colors in a neat line.  Chase was thrilled - one of his favorite toys is the foam orange letter "A" he carries almost everywhere. 


He immediately scraped off the letters so they were all floating in a colorful array in the bathtub.  He glanced up at me, swished his hands around in the water, and pulled out the orange letter "G".  He examined it carefully, tossed it back in the water, and pulled out the orange "S".  The rest of his bath, he spent fishing out letters, examining them, and tossing them back - most of the time, he chose orange letters. 

The next day, Cole found Chase's precious letter "A" and re-alphabetized the letters - just in time for Chase's bath.  Again, Chase gleefully knocked all the letters off the wall and into the water.  And again, he searched all the orange letters.  When he got to the orange "4", he examined it a bit longer than the others, even putting it into his mouth for a taste.  But then he spied his "A" in the water - he lunged for it, grabbed it, and refused to put it down for the entire rest of the bath and while he was getting changed for bed.

Over and over again Cole and I did this same experiment. Lined up the letters to see what Chase would be interested in, what he would reach for.  And over and over again, Chase examined orange letters, but only until he found his beloved "A".

Color recognition, number and letter recognition, fine motor skills - all these amazing realizations I didn't expect my eleven month old to have yet - they would have been lost if I had been focused on entertaining him in the bath or "showing" him the letters, or handing him something to play with instead of watching his choice.

I am in awe of his awareness, his recognition.  I only wish I could know what was going on in his little mind!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gingerbread Man!

The first week of December was our Gingerbread Man theme.  Cole and I made gingerbread cookies, then after his nap we went on a gingerbread scavenger hunt!

 When Cole woke up from his nap and came down to eat his cookie, he found crumbs and a note!
 The scavenger hunt took us all over the house :)
 Finally found those runaway gingerbread men!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Letters to Santa

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

One of my very favorite Christmas items is a little wooden advent calendar.  Each day of the calendar is a little drawer and in each drawer I put a slip of paper that has an activity for the day.  Some are crafts, some are books to read, some are treats, and some are activities for giving to others.  It's a perfect way to countdown to Christmas, to spread out our activities so we're not overwhelmed, and to remember to focus on others as well during the season of giving.

Earlier this month was our day to write to Santa - and boy, did Cole take this seriously! He worked so hard on his letter, painstakingly sounding out each word and writing it carefully.

 "Dear Santa, May I please have a pogo stick? Love, Cole"
This is such a magical age!
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