Sunday, December 16, 2012

Over the weekend...

Gallie's advent calendar activity #14 was to make a gingerbread house!  She says this was her favorite activity so far - hmmm... I wonder why???  We had a really fun time making it together.  After lunch she got to pick 3 candies off the house for a treat :)

Activity #15 was to watch a movie and sleep under the Christmas tree!  Earlier that day was Ayden's 1st birthday party - it was Yo Gabba Gabba theme (I have never seen that show, but it looks weird).  Gallie and Lily had fun opening all of Ayden's presents for him :)

Activity #16 was to go out to breakfast with Mommy and Daddy!  None of us wanted to get dressed that early so we ordered breakfast to go and Caleb picked it up at the little cafe down the street.  Gallie got french toast and Caleb and I shared biscuits and gravy.  It was fun.

Then, this afternoon was our second birthday party of the weekend - Lily's 4th mermaid party!  The kids got to swim, which was VERY exciting!  They had so much fun - I wish I could take Gallie swimming more often - she just loves it!

Really, really good treats!!!

I can't believe Christmas is in 8 days!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Let there be lights!

First of all... HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOBBY!!!  4 YEARS OLD!!!

Today's advent calendar activity was to drive around and look at lights in Birch Bay!  It's one of my favorite things to do throughout the holidays.  And don't worry, we know the person whose yard Gallie is trespassing :)

And I had to throw this in here - classic!  Ayden turns 1 next week!

Monday, December 10, 2012


I'm not exactly a clean freak... but I do like things clean!  I thought I would share the things I use to keep our house clean and tidy!  I've been using all of these products for at least 5 years now and would NEVER change them - they work great and are all natural (with exception of the laundry soap), which is really important to me.

Bon ami - I LOVE LOVE LOVE Bon ami!  I use it to clean the sinks (kitchen + bath) and the tubs/showers.  I just use a plain, washable sponge and a toothbrush for most of my cleaning.  A bonus is that it's only like $1 a can, which is dirt cheap for a chemical free product!  (I've also tried their dish soap and it's not great.)

Borax and distilled vinegar - I use these in combination to clean the toilets.  Just pour in a little of each, let it sit for like 10 minutes, clean with the toilet brush, and flush!  It works REALLY well!  Plus it is also VERY cheap - the vinegar is like $1 and the Borax is only a few dollars and it lasts for months!  I use the vinegar for a lot of other things as well - it's a great all purpose cleaner.

Seventh Generation - I really, really love Seventh Gen. products.  They are expensive so I limit to only the ones I can't live without - the dish soap and the dishwasher detergent.  The dish soap is THE BEST and it comes unscented.  The dishwasher detergent is great as well and it's the ONLY dishwasher detergent I have found that comes unscented.  I really hate scented cleaning supplies :)  I've tried making my own dishwasher detergent a couple times and it's always a disaster.  If you use even a smidge too much it overflows with bubbles.  And if you use much less, it doesn't clean.  (Sometimes Fred Meyer has Seventh Gen. for 50% off so I stock up... like I buy 10 dish soaps - Caleb thinks I'm insane.)

Meyer's Clean Day - For a scented product, I really like Meyers.  I use the countertop stray on the kitchen counters - it also works GREAT on the stainless steel, which is hard to clean.  The price on this spray is not too bad.

Window Cleaner - I make my own, 1part vinegar + 2 parts water, and it works as good as Windex!  I also use it on the bathroom mirrors, the fireplace, etc.  CHEAP!

The Meyers hand soap is one of my favorites for the bathroom & kitchen sink (I also like Trader Joes).  The scents are not overwhelming and don't smell perfumy.  They are expensive, but again, sometimes Fred Meyer has them on sale so I stock up.  I always have extras under the sink :)

Method flushable wipes - These are my FAVORITE! of all my cleaning supplies!  I use them to clean the outside of the toilet and then just leave them inside to flush.  I also use them to clean the sinks and bathroom counters if I'm just doing a quick mid-week touch up.  I use to get them at Target, but they stopped selling them for some really dumb reason.  So now I order them from Amazon by the case :)  They aren't exactly cheap, but not unaffordable either.

Free & Clear laundry soap - Laundry soap is very expensive (at least I think so), so I usually buy the Purex free & clear because it's always on sale.  I know it's not all natural, but it is unscented and free of dyes.  It works really well, actually, and doesn't leave your clothes smelling gross like some detergents do.  I've never tried to make my own... I've read mixed reviews.

If anyone has any tips or really great products (or homemade products!), please let me know!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Santa Ballet

Today's advent calendar activity was to visit Santa!  Gallie climbed up on his lap, gave him her list, and told him she has been a good girl this year :)  And she got a candy cane!

After Santa, we met our friends in Seattle to see The Nutcracker - it was very exciting!  This was Gallie's first ballet and she LOVED it!  We luckily read the story right before, so she was able to follow along.  She had a lot of questions about it, which I was happy about because she really wants to understand things now.

On the drive home we told her about other types of performances and she decided she wants to see The Lion King musical next :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Breakfast in Bed

Today's advent calendar note said Santa had brought Gallie breakfast!  There was a (tiny) bag of donut holes waiting for her on the counter - she immediately took them upstairs (at the crack of dawn!) and ate them in bed :)  She was one happy girl!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dear Santa...

Today's advent calendar surprise was a little tape dispenser (the girl loves tape or stickers of any kind!) and the activity was to write a letter to santa! She wrote the entire letter without any spelling help - I'm so proud of her :)

In case you need a little help reading the list:  10 my little ponies, 100 color sheets, candy canes, and surprises :)  I think this is doable!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Homemade ornaments are the best kind.

Today's advent calendar activity was to make ornaments! I saw these cute little elf ornaments in a magazine and they were easy and cute. Lily was over to play so she joined us - the girls loved making them! All you need are wooden beads (or any beads really), pipe cleaners, and felt.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We have used our tiny little artificial tree ever since Gallie was born, so this year since we have more room we decided to get a real one!  We let her put the little one in her room and she was so excited - she decorated it all herself, choosing her favorite ornaments from our collection.  It looks really cute in there :)

This year we decided to fill her advent calendar with activities and small little gifts on a few of the days.  For December 1st she got a little puzzle eraser (she loves those things!) and our activity was to get our Christmas tree!

We got our tree at a really great tree farm that we use to go to before Gallie was born.  Molly went with us both years we went there and we still have pictures of Caleb holding the saw against her neck!  haha.

Gallie really wanted this tiny little tree...

But then finally settled on this one :)

Home sweet Christmas.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A glimpse of sun!

Today was sunny! We bundled up and walked to the beach for awhile. It was actually really nice out - makes me miss summer so much!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Eva's Eden

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! We had a huge and delish dinner at my mom's house.

Jordan and Jaclyn came up later that night to visit. We went to lunch with them Friday and then went to Eva's Eden, a cat shelter in Blaine. Gallie loves it there and I have to admit it's sad to see her leave without a baby kitten :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Not perfect.

I've always been paranoid about setting my phone alarm and work calendar alarm to go off when it's time to pick up Callie from school.  I've always thought how sad it would be if she was sitting there waiting and no one showed up.  Well, yesterday it happened!  It was early release and I had no idea!  My work is about 30 minutes away from her school so I was so thankful that my mom was home and able to go get her (she lives about 5 minutes from the school).  I felt so bad about it all day - I even let her watch TV in the afternoon!  Thankfully, she didn't take it nearly as bad as I did - she seemed to think it was cool to get to wait in the office and color.  And luckily I wasn't the only forgetful parent - another little girl (a friend in her class) was waiting with her :)  Anyway, I guess you can't be perfect all the time!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blessings in a Backpack

For awhile now, we've been trying to find a volunteering activity for Callie to do with us.  I first heard about Blessings in a Backpack from someone at my work - they pack bags of food each week for kids in need, then deliver it to the school on Fridays so they have plenty to eat on the weekends.  It really is a great program.  We've been helping for four weeks now and Callie loves it!  She is actually really good at filling the bags and gets really into it - one week she was even singing to herself as she loaded them up :)  And she definitely understands that we are helping out kids who may not have as much as we do, which was why I wanted her to do it with me.  If anyone else wants to join in, just let me know!  (It's only about a one hour commitment each week)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Slumber Party!

On Friday night our friends from Seattle came up for the weekend with their two girls.  Lily also joined in so we had slumber party with four little girls!  It was a pretty exciting night!*

Cookie making & decorating before bed!  With a big glass of milk, of course.

Time for bed, but not too sleepy...

A quick My Little Pony episode before lights out!  P.S. The nightlight (very bright hot pink!) in the corner was a gift to Callie from her Uncle Jordan.  She loves it and sleeps with it on every night - all of the other girls loved it too and are putting it on their Christmas list :)

*So it took the girls until after 10:00 to stop giggling and finally fall asleep.  Just as the adults are pouring a glass of wine to relax we hear Callie screaming upstairs.  We ran up to find that she had puked all over herself and all over Lily!  And not just a little bit... pretty much everything she had ate that day - it was pretty disgusting.  And poor lily!  She didn't wake through the screaming.  She didn't wake through me carrying her out of the room.  She didn't wake when I changed her PJ's.  And she didn't even wake when I wiped her down with a wet cloth!  She did, though, question why she wasn't wearing her own PJ's in the morning :)

Callie ended up being completely fine the next morning, thank goodness!