Saturday, February 26, 2011

Valentine Decorations

I wanted to add some new "love" day decorations to our house this year, but I wanted to make them myself. I just feel so accomplished when I've made something to decorate our home. With little money this year, I set out to the dollar store again. I bought this little beauty. It's a small cookie sheet, but it's the perfect size for what I had planned.I then scored these cute babies on sale at half-off. I can make something else with them too, because I only used half of them for my project.
I love countdowns for holidays, so I made this little beauty.

I mod podged the conversation hearts and some scrapbook paper and stickers I had on hand. I love when I have free supplies.
And here's our countdown all displayed on our desk. I filled half the containers with activities and the other half said, "You've got mail." I made 2 little mailboxes, one for the girls and one for the boys. I hit the target dollar spot for little trinkets. The kids loved getting their mail. I forgot to get a photo of the mailboxes, so next year I'll have to get a pic of them. They are all packed up now, because I just decorated for St. Patty's Day today. This was one of my favorite craft projects I've done for awhile.
I then made a love bouquet. I already had the rose petals and the basket. I just picked up these cute heart picks at the dollar store and put them in some styrofoam. Later on I added a little "lovebirds" sign to the front.
I also made these cute little frames. One is made with conversation hearts and the other two are actually soap roses. I got them at the dollar store too. They smell pretty. I had the hubs spray them with a sealant so they won't break over the years. I just placed cute love words in each one.
My last craft I made were these two love topiaries. They are made out of, get ready for it, bath sponges glued together. I got the tin pails from the dollar spot at Target and filled them with candy. I think they turned out so cute. I had a lot of fun making these new decorations this year and I'm now onto the next holiday-St. Patty's Day.

Eight 12 year olds all by myself, REALLY?

It's winter, so ideas for birthday parties are hard to come by when there's snow. Well, introduce
We decided instead of working against the winter, we could use it to our advantage. Funny thing here is, we had tons of snow the week before her party. By the day OF her party, no snow, not a single snowflake was anywhere to be found. Well, so I improvised, like I always do in the days of mommyhood. We had pizza, treats, soda, and played our snow games indoors.
We kept the winter theme throughout the party. These were her cute favors.

Everyone got snowman marshmallows with hot chocolate, a snowman on a stick, and a penguin oreo. These were a huge hit with all the girls. I was so glad I could impress eight 12 year olds.
I made all the decorations. Alexis wanted penguins and snowmen, so everything was one or the other.

We went with blue, silver, white, and black for the color scheme. Alexis wanted cupcakes, so I ran with these. A chocolate cupcake with an igloo made out of frosting with snow crystals with a penguin on top. I was impressed with myself that my penguins actually turned out so cute. We also had snowmen marshmallows and york peppermint patties candy pieces on the table.
A close-up of my cute little penguins.
Some of the girls enjoying pizza, breadsticks, soda, and a lot of treats. This equalled to a lot of hyper girls. It was a lot of fun to watch them and hang out with Alexis. The hubs took all the other kids out, so it was just me with eight, crazy 12 year olds. It was TONS of fun. I missed out on a lot with being an only child. It's nice to see what a bunch of girls do together.
Crazy Human Snowman Game
We had plans to race building a snowman outside, but with no snow, the game moved indoors. The girls split into groups and they had to build a snowman using one person. They had 6 rolls of toilet paper, gloves, a hat, a scarf, a carrot, and they had to draw 4 buttons on their "snowman."
It was crazy fun, and hysterical! What was even crazier, was what happened after.
I let them have a "snowball" fight!
What was I thinking?
They all buried Alexis under the "snow" and then dog piled her(no one got hurt). They had tons of fun, lots of giggling and laughter.
Here is just a small look at the "snowball" fight. A mess, but it was hilarious watching them. The hubs would have been going crazy, so it's good he wasn't here during this. Alexis had a fun time and her 2 hour party turned into half the girls staying for a late night and one actually spent the night. I was happy she had so much fun. Preteens are so silly and crazy! I LOVE IT!!!

Alexis turns 12

It finally happened!
My first baby turned 12!
I can't believe it. She is actually 12 now, and she is no longer in Primary. She is in Young Women's now! OH MY HEAVENS!!! What's a mother to do. Oh, I know. If I hide under my covers and pretend it didn't happen, will she still be a baby? Please, pretty please, with a cherry on top.
No, you say she's only gonna get older. Man, this being a mom is hard work on the heart. Time just keeps flying by. Well, if she must be 12, then I guess I'll have to deal with it.
She's a GREAT kid, I mean, young lady. I could have never dreamed of having such a wonderful daughter, and I ended up with four. I'm very lucky!
Alexis is growing into a wonderful girl and I'm so proud to call her my daughter. She is so considerate, loving, responsible, funny, beautiful, smart, talented, sporty. I could go on and on about this girl of mine.
Each year the kiddos get to pick out their birthday breakfast and she chose cinnamon rolls this year. Don't they look de-lish? They were SO yummy!
This year she was having a big party, so we did dinner at home, but I did make her this decadent oreo cheesecake. It was gobbled up by everyone.

This year we lucked out and Alexis's present was actually given to us from the hub's parents. His grandma was a painter and she passed away a few months before. Well when they were cleaning out her place they found this easel and asked if we wanted it for Alexis. We said yes, and knew we could give it to her for her birthday. Needless to say, she LOVED it. We also gave her some canvases, and she has already completed some masterpieces. This was a hard birthday for me to wrap my heart around. I just was having a hard time realizing things are getting faster and faster here, and as a result, the kiddos aren't so young anymore. I feel like I need to catch up to them. I will, eventually, but in the meantime, can the younger ones slow down please?

New Year's Eve

We decided this year that we wanted to have a party, but we wanted it to be low key. So we invited my dad and all of the hub's family over. The kiddos had a blast as you can tell by this picture. They love having parties, and I love giving them.The activities were easy, since the kiddos got an arcade basketball game and an air hockey table from grandpa for Christmas. And we also had the Wii, which everyone loves. I had purchased a gingerbread house kit after Christmas which was only a couple of dollars, knowing the kids would love to decorate it, and boy did they ever LOVE it.

Even Bella was loving it, however, I think it was the eating the candy she really loved.
We had good eats, lots of things we knew the kiddos would all love, since they almost outnumbered the adults-almost.
Cute little Josh with his daddy.
Bella loves sitting with Grandpa Renga, and he loves her to death. He's been smitten with her since he first held her after she was born.
We had noise makers and horns for the kiddos, but Bella couldn't blow the horn, so I gave her pots and pans to beat. She loved making the noise.
This was Bella's first time sitting at the big table in the morning. She quickly returned to her high chair the next day, because she wasn't quite ready to sit in the booster seat. This is fine with me, I'd like to keep her little a little longer. I'm not quite ready to see my baby not a baby any more.
Here's one more pic of the kiddos decorating that house. They really enjoyed this activity. We all had fun and it was a very calm, relaxed, fun party. I love throwing parties, especially when they are simple.

Christmas Eve 2010

Okay, so I am finally gonna get caught up from the past couple of months. I'll start with Christmas Eve. We have adopted the hub's family tradition for our crazy bunch-we always stay home on Christmas Eve, just the eight of us. We use this night to come together and celebrate with just our little family. We spend most of Christmas day running all over the place, so Christmas Eve is our time to have with our kiddos. We have a fancy-well, semi-fancy, dinner. We then read the story of Christ's birth, the kids tell us on video tape what they would like this year from Santa, they do a little performance(they all LOVE this part), then they get to open one present(mom and dad choosing this one), we get ready for bed, set out our cookies, milk, and carrots, read Twas the Night Before Christmas, and then it's off to bed. We have come to enjoy this time more than any other time during the holidays. The kids even say they almost like this night better than opening presents, but then they say they still like their presents more.This year I attempted to make ice candles. We ate by candlelight with the kiddos. They got a big kick out of this. Next year, I think I'll get some kind of bowl to hold the candles instead of my pie plates.
This was our nice table set up. The kids love using the fancy napkins.
Here are the kiddos telling dad what they would like this year.
Laney did a song and dance performance. Man, look at those dancer legs and pointed toes. She's a natural. She's so excited to take dance this fall. Right now she just doesn't have the time, because she keeps wanting to do play after play.
Alexis made a comic book for the night's performance. This girl can really draw and write. She's amazing, and keeps amazing me day after day. We didn't even know that this was what she had planned for the evening.
Logan and Noah sang a couple of songs together. Kaleigh also did a dance and song, but I missed snapping a picture, but I got it on video.
As tradition goes, the kiddos' present is always jammies. Alexis was thrilled with her penguins. She just LOVES penguins!
Kaleigh rockin' the monkeys.
Laney pretending to be a penguin in her favorite candy jammies that are PINK too!
Logan got some cool polar bear ones, but unfortunately they have only lasted him one month, due to a growth spurt. They are floods now.
Noah was thrilled with his Mickey ones.
Little Miss Bella in her cutie Minnie jammies. She looks so old in them. My baby, oh where did she go?
After all was said and done for the evening, the kiddos were more riled up then before, but what kid wouldn't be waiting for Santa. I certainly was excited for Santa. We had another fun Christmas Eve with our crazy bunch and can't wait until next year.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Talk!

It's been an eventful Saturday in the Hansen home. The hubs and I finally sat down with the two older girls(separately) and talked to them rather openly and very frank. We have had small talks with them in the past, well-actually, I have had talks with them, but never have we sat them down and taken them through everything between a man and a woman before. We threw body part words at them, which they kinda knew already due to our talks, but we explained to them exactly what takes place during sex and making a baby.
I picked up this great book to help me prepare and then sprung it on the hubs that he was gonna sit down with me and the two older girls. Needless to say, he was less than excited. I have been meaning to do this for awhile, but life's been a tad bit crazy around here. The book recommends talking with them at age 8, which we have had talks before, just nothing quite so BIG before. We let them in on the amazing, wonderful, awesome, "secret." We also told Laney she would get to know the "secret" this year on her birthday. She's rather excited. I totally love building the "secret" up just like the book recommends, because sex is not dirty, weird, or embarrassing. It is extremely wonderful, awesome, and intense. I want our children to know and feel like they can come to us and ask us "anything." I didn't have an open relationship growing up with my folks, but I sure want my kids to have that with the hubs and I.
We were both kind of nervous to have this talk, but it actually was a lot easier than either one of us thought it would be. We stressed to them a lot on NOT doing anything until they are married, but we felt they needed to know about all the facts about sex-the why, how, who, when, and most importantly God's plan for the power a man and woman have when they come together. There were lots of questions, more from Kaleigh than Alexis(which I expected, due to Alexis's quiet-in-her-head personality), but both girls felt informed, and like they could talk/ask us anything. Mission accomplished in my book. It's a crazy world out there and we want our kids armed with everything possible so they can make the right decisions and not be left in the dark. We also feel that opening up to them and having frank discussions a lot will help them stay on the right path. We know there will be bumps and mistakes along the way, but we stressed to our girls making this mistake-having sex of any kind before marriage, is one we hope and pray they do not make. They understood and no one squirmed or felt uncomfortable which was very nice. I highly recommend reading this book. It helped me gather my thoughts and organize exactly what/how I wanted to say things. My hardest part was actually using the right terms for the parts of the body-I'm still working on this, but by the time it's little Miss Bella's turn, I'll be a pro.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sobering Day for me today

Today would have been 12 weeks now, but again for the second time, tis not to be. Here's to trying again down the road, maybe.