Monday, February 28, 2011

Back Home

We made it back!  And oh what a wonderful time we had!  We had snow the last day, which was actually much needed because it had been bright and sunny the previous three days.  If you are planning a trip for next year, President's Week (we did not ski President's Day) is a great time to go!  We had the slopes to ourselves!  

Here are just a few pictures from our trip.  These are phone pictures, I was not going to lug my camera with me, nor did we stop long enough to take pictures.  I also hate to pull my hands out of my gloves for any reason once I am bundled up, so if there are any ski pictures, they are rarely taken by me.

We left a chilly 20 degrees in Denver for 70 degrees in Birmingham.  We spent all day Saturday outside with the kids.  Oh, we love these warm sunny days!

Sara Wells loves driving her car.
 Ella and Miller sat and watched Murray saw up an entire tree.
 Miller rescued some army men that went MIA during his birthday party.
 While Miller played with his rescued army men, Ella continued her search for pixie dust.
And what happens when you chop up a tree?  You have to split the wood.  Ella helped Murray split all the wood and then stack it all.  Ella loves to help her Daddy.
Murray and I always enjoy our time away, but we love coming home to our precious children who are so full of life and adventure.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And We're Off!

Murray and I are leaving today for a much needed vacation!  We are going skiing for a few days WITHOUT the kids!  I thought while we were gone, I would ask for some advice.  As I mentioned earlier, Miller has had a major flare up of asthma this week.  He is on all the asthma medicines.  I know that a lot of children suffer from asthma.  For those of you who have been down this road, I am wondering if you have any advice or remedies that have seemed to help your children. No advice or ideas will seem silly to me!  Thanks so much!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Together Time

There is one thing true about the Lee Children, they love each other!  Miller's asthma has been acting up this week so we have spent a lot of time at home (and doctor's offices) this week.  Which means lots of brother and sister time.  And through it all, they still love each other!  Ella and Miller love taking care of Sara Wells.  I think they might even be able to manage without me.
Even though it has been BEAUTIFUL outside, I have had to make playing inside very enticing.  It has been awhile since we have made playdough, so I thought that might keep Ell and Miller busy for a little while.

 Of course Ella chose pink!

 And Miller wanted blue and green (blue and green like Buzz Lightyear)

And after all the effort of making two colors, the first thing Miller did mash the two colors together.  
I have found memories of making playdough with my mom.  There are lots of recipes out there for play dough, here is the one I grew up making.

Easy PlayDough Recipe
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 T. cream of tarter
1 cup water
1 tsp vegetable oil
food coloring

Mix flour and salt well.  Cook low about 3 minutes constantly stirring.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vintage Baby

I was going to choose just one or two pictures, but how in the world can I choose just one or two?  
As you might have guessed, this was my dress.  I know that we used to wear a lot shorter, but I am thinking Sara Wells is taller than I was at her age.  But who could pass up putting her in a dress this cute?  My oh my!  As cute as the dress is, it is nothing compared to this little girl!  The smile on her face makes my heart swell with joy!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Strawberry Cookies

I thought you all might enjoy the recipe for the strawberry cookies that we made for some of our Valentines.  These cookies are delicious and easy!  If you need a last minute Valentine idea, you should try these (even Murray who loves chocolate and would rather not eat dessert than have fruit mixed with chocolate, likes these cookies).  We can all thank my good friend Jada for this recipe!

1 box strawberry cake mix
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 bag chocolate chunks

Preheat oven 350
Mix all ingredients together.  Spoon cookies on cookie sheet (I think they are better smaller, smaller than you would make a chocolate chip cookie.  Mine in the picture are too big).  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  They are best when they are soft, so when you see the edges starting to brown take them out and let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to get hard.

Valentine Treats

I would say that our snow day was very productive...

8 dozen pink heart marshmallows

 3 dozen Strawberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies
And 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies!  Whew!  What a day!

I think the Christmas before Ella was born I was watching a special on the Food Network where Tyler Florence made homemade marshmallows.  Since then I have been wanting (ok, really really wanting) to make them, but had no reason.  As I started thinking about Valentine's day I knew the kids would love to make these marshmallows.  I finally had the perfect reason to make homemade marshmallows.  And it was worth it!  They were delicious.  And the kids had a blast making them (I actually had to cut them out  because they were a little more delicate than I had anticipated).  I used this recipe on The Food Network.  We just added the food coloring and red sugar crystals for Valentine's Day.

Miller only goes to school on Wednesday and Friday, so he had his Valentine Party today at school.  Because of that we had to get all of our Valentines finished early.  The kids made the marshmallows for all of their friends and the strawberry cookies for their teachers.  I know that we will most likely not always make their Valentines, but while the kids love it we will.  In the process of making everything, Ella probably told me 6 times how much fun she was having.  Things tend to get pretty crazy around here and there is always a little bit of chaos.  But what wonderful memories we are making of always taking time out in the midst of the chaos to do special things together.  Now it looks like cooking, painting and making things together.  In a few years it may mean going to the movies or to a concert together.  It may mean late nights talks, going shopping or taking long runs together.  Whatever it looks like, I pray that I will always be searching their hearts to know the special ways that show them how much I love them.

I hope your Valentine's Day is filled with love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow Day

Here is how we are spending our Snow Day how.  How are you spending yours?
(this is actually how I planned to spend today before I knew about the snow, so it worked out really well that we are forced to be inside today.  If you cannot tell, there are lots of Valentine's in the works!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sara Wells is making her place known in this family. 

I walked in the bathroom a couple of days ago, not even knowing Sara Wells could climb up on the stools, and she was right there with Ella and Miller trying to brush her teeth.  This is now one of her favorite places to play.  She feels like such a big girl finally begin able to stand on the stools like Ella and Miller.  She is slowly becoming one of their playmates rather than their favorite thing to play with.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Little Overdue

First off, does it get any cuter than this???  Murray took this picture the other night with his phone (hints the poor quality) after Sara Wells bath.  Oh my!  Melt my heart.

I realize that on the birthday posts, I promised I would tell you how I made these party hats and I just totally forgot.  I am telling you, these are soooo easy to make and soooo cute!  I first saw them on Ruffles and Stuff (cannot find the tutorial) a long time ago.  I remember thinking they were such a cute idea.  Then around the first of the year they popped up again on Tatertots and Jello around the first of the year and just knew I had to do them for Sara Wells' party.
 First pick out your scrapbook paper.
Measure 11 inches from the top corner across the bottom of the paper.  (The original post said to measure 10 inches.  I tried this and it seemed a little small.  However 11 inches does make the hats kind of tall.  It is just up to your preference)
In the original post, she used fabric for the ruffles.   Which was so cute!  I just knew I did not have time to coordinate fabric with the scrapbook paper.  So, I used crepe paper.  I think it turned out pretty cute and was so easy.

Push the paper up under the pressure foot as you are sewing (just use a normal straight stitch)
 Do the same across the top.
I used hot glue to close them up, a stapler might be a little faster.

Use elastic thread for the string that goes under the neck (I think I made mine 10 inches, but it has been a few weeks and I really don't remember.  So sorry).  

And look at those happy babies! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine Hearts

Well, all picture days are not created equal.  Neither Ella or Sara Wells were in the picture taking mood today, but I wanted to share their cute Valentine's outfits.  

 (this is the best picture I could get of them together)

When thinking about what I wanted to make for Valentine's Day, I really wanted to make something they they could both wear into the summer since cold weather clothes wearing is almost over (hopefully.  Only one month left is not enough time in my book to make more winter clothes).  I saw this really cute knit at Hobby Lobby and this idea instantly popped into my head.  Ella LOVES (could not emphasize that enough) knit outfits.  Her very favorite outfit is a purple knit skirt and t-shirt from target.  I hid it about a month ago because she kept trying to wear it and it is way too cold outside to wear a skirt that is too short and a short sleeved t-shirt.  It only took a few days for her to find it and be-bop into my room so proud of what she had found.  Anyways, out of her love for knit clothing, I thought I would make her a new knit skirt and new cute ruffly tee.  My instincts were right, Ella loves it and asks to wear it everyday!

I knew what I wanted to make Ella, but I just did not want to make Sara Wells a t-shirt.  Even though I knew I could make her some really cute bloomers for the summer to go with it, I just want to hold on to baby as long as I can and wanted to do something different, yet matching.  But I also wanted easy (one big benefit of knit is it is very easy!).  I just think you can never go wrong with a bubble for a baby/toddler and what better than a comfy knit bubble.  I had in mind that I would smock it, but as soon as I started putting the outfit together I realized if I pleated the fabric it might leave rows and rows of holes (disadvantage of knit).  So, I let go of my smocked vision and just gathered the neckline (again, this is one of the easiest outfits!!!).  It turned out really cute!  My hope is that I can cut off the legs and have a short bubble for the summer.