Friday, November 29, 2013

Week In Review: November 25 - November 27

The end is here on our three day week! Here is our short but busy week in pictures:

Foam pumpkins-the kids did LOTS of these this week. These are stamped with Thanksgiving stampers. Others that they did had foam stickers.
Coloring their "Thanksgiving cups.
These were a big hit with the kids! I found them at Target for $2.99. I did have to make sure the kids didn't color too hard with them, but the kids thought it was pretty cool that they got to color and then "do magic paint on it."

Puzzle time. In going through toys for donation, I found a box of puzzles that hadn't been played with in quite a while and were completely torn apart. This turned into an hour long group activity for the kids, trying to figure out which puzzle pieces went to which puzzle and then putting them all together.
 The van all loaded up and the boys all ready to donate! The past month, the kids and I have been talking about how the holiday seasons are times of being thankful for what we have and giving to those who don't have food, clothes, toys, etc. Wednesday morning Matt and the boys took all of their stuff to my former high school to donate it to their school wide drive called Christmas Baskets. I was so very proud of my boys who gladly gave their "old" toys to kids who wouldn't otherwise be getting Christmas gifts. This has been a wonderful lesson and I love hearing how they interpret these things. Last week, the boys gave canned goods to Combat Hunger. 3 year old Harrison informed me we were giving food "to people who just don't eat mom." 
Grow capsules from Dollar Tree
The grow capsules turned into cars, trucks, planes, and boat sponges that the kids will sponge paint with next week.

The kids were super excited to help decorate our felt Christmas tree!

I put the two oldest kids in charge of helping me make sides for our Thanksgiving feasts. Max thought he was pretty cool for making the fruit salad completely by himself.

The kids also baked chocolate chip M & M cookies. However, those never quite made it to our Thanksgiving feasts!

The turkey hand prints turned out awesome! 
Sensory bins: playing with the fall sensory bin one last time and we added pine cones to the "snow" sensory bin.

We will be spending our four day weekend starting on our Holiday Season to do List, preparing the Christmas sensory bins, decorating the house, and of course lots of time with family. Let the holiday season begin!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend All the Way

The kids and I spent our Saturday morning finishing off a couple of things from our Fall Fun To Do List. Unfortunately, we did not get to everything. We had a pretty fantastically fun fall so none of us are particularly upset about it. The kids and I managed to make it out to the Winter Market in downtown Des Moines. It was very crowded and not extremely stroller/kids friendly, but the kids scored a few goodies.

The kids were amazed at the big Christmas trees at the Winter Market. They also loved to people watch--definitely my kids!
Watching the band play below.
Max dancing to the band.
The minis with their goodies: Max had a cherry cupcake, H had a mint chocolate cupcake, and Miss E got an apple cider donut.

We ran through the skywalk for a good energy waster for the kids and exercise for myself!
Elizabeth stopped running long enough to point out a fire truck passing by!

We have been attempting to make it to the zoo the past several weeks, but the weather has been very uncooperative every time we even mention going. It was extremely cold, but for the sake of our Fall list, we braved the cold and went. Okay, so we only went to the Discovery Center and gift shop at the zoo, but I'm totally counting this as a trip to the zoo considering we have been sooo many times the past several months thanks to our zoo pass. We'll be back at the zoo in a couple of week to see Santa at the zoo too!

Harrison wanted help across the bridge. Big brother to the rescue!
Elizabeth's favorite part of the zoo: running through the flaps over and over and over again.

"Oooh kitty!" Elizabeth squealed every time the red pandas walked by her.

After lunch, naps, and picking up daddy, we made our way to Merle Hay Mall. The kids rode the train for the first time this season (actually the second time for H since he and daddy had a special day together last Thursday).
Coloring at Old Navy while mom shops.
Riding the train at Merle Hay Mall for the first this season. Daddy was thrilled that I made him ride with little Elizabeth and the other kids.
Target's Up & Up brand came out with holiday diapers this year. Yet another reason why Up & Up is my favorite brand of diapers!

We ended our fun filled Saturday by having a snack and watching "Planes."
A quick bath before the movie. Yes, this is totally my daughter using her Cabbage Patch doll's pacifier.
Snack and a movie. I love how it's the simple things like this that make them the most happy.

Sunday was a relaxing day at home, which involved cleaning, laundry, cooking, baking, prepping for the week, and a few errands. It's so funny now that we have three kids that cleaning suddenly means picking things up off of the floor. Make no mistake, that when I say we have a "clean" house, there's still an inch of dust on all surfaces, the windows are still smudgy, and even though I vacuumed and swept there's always left over crumbs on the floor....but I wouldn't have it any other way. Someday my house will be clean and tidy and my Sunday's will actually be relaxing and I won't be stuck watching Netflix Kids. Until then, I'll take the random piece of cheese stuck on my foot, discovering a harder than life Cheerio in my son's bed, and a peed on toilet seat.
Eating lunch on the couch while watching a Christmas movie.

Harrison at one of his friend's birthday party at Backyard Adventures.
It was Mexican tortilla  pizza night (salsa, black beans, corn, peppers, and cheese, baked in the oven for 10 minutes at 375 degrees). So yummy! The kids just opted for plain cheese pizzas with the corn and beans on the side.
Our nearly completed Fall Fun To Do List.

Only three days of "work" and then four days of starting on our Holiday Season To Do List!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Week In Review: November 18 - November 22

Our week in pictures (or at least what pictures I managed to take of the kids' activities):

Started our week by putting our hatching dinosaur egg in water.
Using egg cartons to paint fall pumpkins.

Dinosaur grow capsules. 

When the dinosaur sponges started popping out of the capsules, a couple of the kids started informing others that the dinosaurs were being born and saying "blah!" as they popped out. Never a dull moment here!
The grow capsules turned into dinosaur sponges. 
Once dried, the kids got to do sponge painting with them.

Thanksgiving stamps (found at Michael's).
Peace baby! I had the kids paint these with either crayons (as some preferred) or the Up & Up brand paint brush markers. These are quite messy, but do wash out of things easily. The kids have really enjoyed using those paint brush markers this week.
Painting the pine cones the boys discovered on our nighttime walk.
The creepy dinosaur hatched from it's egg.
Thanksgiving feast/tea party/snack time.
The kids 3 and younger have really enjoyed coloring these this week. The older kids have enjoyed the activity pages. Another good buy from Michael's!
Foam pumpkins with foam and felt stickers.
Ending our week with a Friday night dance party. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I don't enjoy "skipping" this time of year to get to everything Christmas, but I did make an exception Friday night when the kids requested Christmas music to dance to.

Fall sensory bin before bed.
The boys and I ended our Friday night by putting the finishing touches on our Holiday Season To Do List.

Next week will be a short week with Thanksgiving at the end of the week. We will be welcoming back some of our school age friends this week, doing a few last Thanksgiving crafts, helping me cook and bake, and getting our felt Christmas tree ready to go for the Christmas season.