Happy Birthday Sprout!

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Little man turned TWO on April, 11th. We celebrated him with family, trains, nachos, and cupcakes! He is such a sweet spirit who loves well and plays hard. He is a chatterbox and tries his best to keep up with his big sister. I’ll do a 2 year old post soon! We decided to keep his 2nd birthday party small, to be honest all he cared about was a cupcake so just a family party was the way to go! Thomas the train is his current obsession so a train theme was a foregone conclusion. His Bebe had a train shirt made for him and we decorated with banners, balloons, and giant trains made of poster board. 

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I found this super cute train banner on Etsy in Kelly’s Cottage Shop. We used crepe paper streamers and red and blue balloons from Dollar Tree (who doesn’t love the Dollar Tree!). Lot’s of Choo Choo Sprout’s Two signs were around and another banner that read Sprout Station.

The cupcakes matched the theme of course. Sprout had been saying for weeks that all he wanted for his birthday was a brown cupcake, so we made all his wishes come true! Chocolate cupcakes with green icing. I used Hershey bars and black gel icing to create the tracks and found these mini Thomas, Percy, and James trains at Dollar General.

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We fed everyone lunch at the party with a nacho bar and mixed fruit! Super easy and everyone was able to customize their dish. My favorite ways to eat nachos, are to build them on a baking sheet and broil them for 2-3 minutes to melt everything together. They are DELICIOUS!

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After eating we played outside a lot and the big kids finally convinced Sprout to open presents. It was a great day celebrating our little man. I can’t believe he will be a BIG brother before he turns 3…well in less than three months really :) I have no doubt he will love baby girl fiercely. Happy Birthday sweet boy!

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He Lives! Happy Easter!

“Then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again. And as He stands in victory, sins curse has lost its grip on me. For I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious love of Christ!”

– In Christ Alone

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One of my absolute favorite worship songs. We had it sung at our wedding and it brings chills to me everytime I hear those words! Happy Easter, friends! I hope you had a wonderful day celebrating our RISEN savior. We are so thankful for the hope that comes from the empty tomb!

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We have had so much fun celebrating the weeks leading up to Easter with friends and family. Lots of crafts, baking, egg hunts, reading the Easter story, and teaching our kids about God’s biggest sacrifice for us.

We had fun with neighbors throwing paint filled eggs at a canvas (more on this soon!)

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Ate up bunny cake and bunny pancakes.

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 And hunted sooooo many Easter eggs!

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We hope you had an Easter filled with hope and assurance of God’s love for you!

#PartyofFive

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Y’all, I don’t know what took me so long to write this post. Maybe it’s that sometimes I am still a little shocked until I get gut punched in the belly button… But we are beyond thankful and excited to be adding a baby GIRL to our crazy crew this summer! Oh.my.goodness. We are blessed to be able to soak in the miracle of life once again, and so very grateful to have another tiny baby join our family. I will take all the advice for adding a third baby to your family and bonus points if they help us handle 3 little ones 3 and under!

A few thoughts on baby #3…

I’m almost 25 weeks along as of today. I am looking at it as less than 14 weeks to go for my own mindset! I’ll have a scheduled c-section since both Chickadee and Sprout were breech resulting in sections, however I’ve never made it to the planned date. We are praying the 3rd time’s a charm!

This pregnancy has been a tougher than my last two. First, we had some scares early on. Then, I have been absolutely EXHAUSTED (could be the baby, or could be that I am chasing around a 3 year old and almost 2 year old). But I have yet to get that 2nd trimester energy. Thankful for naps!

Also, since Sprout was born at 34 weeks I’ve been getting a progesterone shot in my hip every week to help baby girl cook for as long as possible…that means weekly doctor visits since 16 weeks.  

Y’all know we love nicknames around here…first came Chickadee, then Sprout…we’ve been calling this little one Poppy and it might have to stick because we don’t really have any front runners in the girl name department. All suggestions welcome!!!

The kids are excited. Chickadee gets it this go around, so it’s been fun having her share in our excitement. She talks a lot about how she used to be in Mama’s tummy like Poppy. She is going to be such a little Mama and is practicing a lot with her baby dolls. As for Sprout, I’m pretty sure this baby will rock his world. 

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At our anatomy scan the nurse wrote down the gender on a little piece of paper and slipped it in an envelope. I dropped it off with a sweet friend in our neighborhood and she made these amazing cake pops so we could all find out as a family (including grandparents on FaceTime). We were shocked to find pink inside. For absolutely NO reason, I had convinced myself this baby was a boy. 

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Thank you for all of your love and support over the years as this little DIY blog has also documented our growing family. We have loved having you along for the journey and are looking forward to what this next chapter holds as we become a #partyoffive. Happy Friday!

 

Boredom Buster: Scavenger Hunt

Boredom Buster DIY Scavenger Hunt Idea

Did Daylight Saving Time hit you like a ton of bricks? I was a little excited because the kids have been waking up a little too early for me the past few weeks and I thought “now when they way up at “6:45″ the clock will now read 7:45.” Nope, Sunday morning they woke when the clock said 7:15. Even earlier! DST is, however the perfect example of short term pain=long term gain. There isn’t much better than daylight lasting until 7:30 and those long after dinner walks before it gets dark! So I will suffer through these early mornings for the reward of evening walks!

It was warm weather around here last week (Thursday hit 76!). We have been spending lots of time outside on the swing set and going on neighborhood walks to wear the kids out in hopes they take great naps! Chickadee usually prefers to ride her “wiggle” (aka plasma car) or balance bike and Sprout likes his Red Flyer tricycle. However, sometimes I have them walk. We are so lucky that our neighborhood had great sidewalks and slow driving neighbors so the kids can run up and down with only the worry of a scraped knee. 

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I decided to jazz up one of our walks last week, by having Chickadee bring along a scavenger hunt. She LOVES scavenger hunts when we are on long car trips. I usually find them on a blog, print them off, and attach to a clipboard to keep in our car activity bag. Now that she is forward facing she loves spotting all the items on the BINGO board, so I knew she would love hunting on our afternoon walk.

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Chickadee helped me come up with the items we were looking for. I wrote both the word and drew a picture so it was easy for her to “read” (she is 3). She grabbed a crayon and checked items off her scavenger hunt list as I pushed Sprout in the stroller. It was fun adding a little extra something to our walk and I have a feeling it will become one of her favorite warm afternoon activities. Afternoon walks are the perfect boredom buster and with the scavenger hunt added on, it’s fun for everyone!

Rice Bin – Toddler Sensory Play

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There have been some colder and rainy days the past few weeks. (Definitely not today..today it’s beautiful, 70 degrees and sunny!) And I have found a great activity that entertains my two toddlers for HOURS! In my personal mom opinion everyone needs a rice bin. 

I’m not sure why I waited so long. We have a sand table, a water table…Chickadee does tons of other sensory activities including finger painting and play-doh. But this was both Sprout and Chickadee’s FIRST rice bin. And it was magic. 

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Materials: a big bag of uncooked rice, a bin/tupperware of some sort, spoons, funnels, tongs, animals, buttons, bowls, etc. 

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There isn’t much too it. Pour in the rice, anything you might want to hide for your little to find, and start playing. Let them explore, dig, pour, use their imagination. Try and stop yourself from freaking out that there may be rice both inside and outside the bin! Our only rule is “No throwing the rice.” It’s easy to clean up. PROMISE. I use a plastic table cloth underneath the kids since we usually play when we can’t take it outside. That along with a little sweeping made clean up easy.

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If you feel the need to add more structure, you could add objects and then include a picture list for you kids to find certain things. Tongs are great when searching because they really strengthen their hands and develop find motor skills. 

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Embrace the magic of the rice bin. Embrace the imagination. Embrace the great sensory play & how it will develop find motor skills. And it doesn’t hurt to also embrace the 30 free minutes of independent play time it give you.

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Want other engaging activities for your toddler? Check out these ideas as well (Click on the picture to be taken to the page)!