Creative Storage Solution

Nonna works at Build A Bear. She’s been there for about two years now. Over those two years we have accumulated about 20 large animals and 20 Small Frys. The girls love their stuffed animals but I’m having a hard time figuring out where to put them all. We also have a bunch of other stuffed animals that I had previously stored in a net/shelf thing in the girls’ closet.

Enter a quiet Saturday night and Pinterest. One of my friends had just pinned a site showing a bean bag cover filled with stuffed animals . Once I saw this I went searching the web for affordable bean bag covers. Then I looked to my right and eyed our rarely used bean bag.

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I went right to work. It was tough getting all the staticky “beans” out and I made a big mess, but the idea of hiding away a bunch of stuffed animals motivated me to press on. I was so excited that I risked waking the girls up to sneak animals out of their closet.

IMG_7023IMG_7024At first the girls weren’t too fond of the idea of having their animals stored away, but now they don’t seem to mind at all. It makes for a much more comfortable chair and a cleaner closet. It’s also fun because occasionally when you sit down you are greeted with sounds from one or two of the animals that have buttons.

Photo Fridays 01.11.13

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While cleaning out my closet I found an old book of Mother Goose’s nursery rhymes. I flipped through the pages and this rhyme caught my eye:

There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
she was very, very good;
But when she was bad she was horrid.

I feel like this is where our sweet Sarah is at the moment. She’s a big fan of the word “no” and is not quick to obey, despite being able to spout out Colossians 3:20 like nobody’s business (Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord).

I sure do love her, though. She is the life of the party. She loves to sing and dance and make all of us laugh. She makes it easy to forget the times when she may be difficult.

Banana “Ice Cream”

We don’t buy bananas every week because many times we have one or two left that end up in the banana bread stage. I had recently made banana muffins and did not feel like baking again (as much as I love banana muffins). Instead, I decided to try out a popular pin I’ve seen on Pinterest for one ingredient Banana “Ice Cream”.

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Abigail helped with the first step: slicing the bananas. We stuck them in the freezer for a few hours.

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The next step wasn’t nearly as easy as the first. The directions suggested using a food processor, but I went with the blender. That didn’t work very well (though it may have been because I tried to do too much at once). I then did small batches in my food processing attachment to my hand blender and finished it up in the large blender.

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The bananas were a little on the soft side, so we put it in the freezer for an hour or so.

The girls loved it. Even Lily gobbled it up. This is such an easy and healthy way to use up very ripe bananas. We will definitely be doing this again!

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Hello 2013!

We had a pretty laid back New Year’s Eve. It started out with me and Abigail going to the grocery store with lots of other people. We had lunch, went for a drive, and then came home to play games and have a mini dance party.

The girls had pizza for dinner. To make things more fun we let them make their own. I pretty much gave them control (though I did control amounts by limiting the toppings). For dessert we made chocolate covered Oreos with red sprinkles.

We put the girls to bed on time and had ordered Chinese takeout for pick up at 8:00. The girls were still awake by then, but it didn’t matter because the food wasn’t ready until after 9:00! I was beginning to wonder if we’d have to wait until 2013 to eat.

Being parents of three, energy-filled young ladies Jonathan and I ended up falling asleep before the ball drop. Don’t worry though, Lily was kind enough to wake us up about 10 minutes before the New Year, so we were able to ring in the new year somewhat awake.

One of the rings I really enjoyed doing was reading memories from the past year throughout our day. Each of us picked a few memories to read during our meals. Most were happy memories, some were sad, and some were from the girls. We plan on keeping up with this new tradition each year. The tough part is stopping and remembering to write the memories down.

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My 2012 Reading List

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As a Stay at Home Mom I don’t have a whole lot of extra time to sit down and cozy up with a book and hot drink. Or do I? Over the course of the year I managed to read seven books (a huge deal for me). I thought I’d share what I read with you…

1-3 The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
I heard a lot about this series towards the end of 2011. I talked about the trilogy with my Mom, who reads way more than me. Little did we know she actually had the series, which she received as a gift from a friend. This kicked off my reading for the year and got me excited about adding more books to my “I Read This” list. These were quick reads and had me hooked.

4 Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll
This makes a great reference book. A lot of what I read made sense and resonated with me. I’ll be honest though, there was one chapter that was a bit shocking to me, and I’m not sure I agreed with everything Mr. Driscoll had to say. If you want to hear more, you’ll have to ask me, otherwise you can read the book for yourself 🙂

5 Conversations with CS Lewis: Imaginative Discussions About Life, Christianity, and God by Robert Velarde
I read this because it was suggested reading four our church’s Conversations series. It’s a fictional story about a young man with cancer who is visited by CS Lewis. Lewis takes the main character back in time on Lewis’ spiritual journey from not believing in God, to believing there was a God, to becoming a Christian. I found this to be an easy read and a nice peek into Lewis’ life.

6 Redemption: Freed by Jesus From the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry by Mike Wilkerson
I read this book as I went through Redemption Groups with my church. Redemption Group was a ten week small group series focusing on redemption/healing/freedom from sins/idols/suffering (like the title of the book suggests). The book walks through the book of Exodus in the Old Testament. It was eye opening to see just how much I have in common with the Israelites who were freed from Egypt and later wandered in the wilderness. This was a challenging and encouraging book.

7 The Wizard of Oz by Lyman Frank Baum
So some of these were more for entertainment than personal enrichment. Jonathan got me an iPad Mini for Christmas so I downloaded a number of free books to read. Turns out the motion picture inspired by this book is a lot different than the book. It was still an enjoyable read though.

I’ve also started a few more that I hope to finish or even start over in the beginning of 2013:

Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Jesus Plus Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian
The New Dare to Discipline by Dr. James Dobson

I stumbled upon these cute bookmark printables while on Pinterest and will probably print one out so I can easily keep track of what I read. I hope to tell you more about what I read over the next twelve months come 2014!

Our Christmas

Christmas Eve
Our older girls were pretty excited when they learned that Christmas Eve had finally arrived. They were even more excited to get dressed up and head to our church’s Christmas Eve service. I had to keep reminding them though that it wouldn’t happen until it started getting dark outside. The time finally arrived so the girls got all dressed up and we attempted pictures in front of the tree before heading out.

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Like many Christmas Eve services, ours involved candles. And, like last year, we let our older two girls hold candles. Last year Sarah couldn’t get enough of blowing out her candle and relighting it with Abigail’s. this year she really wasn’t into holding her candle at all. In fact, she decided shed just go ahead and place her candle on her chair-while it was still lit! Thankfully I was paying close attention and quickly blew that candle out.

We hung out a bit and headed home a good deal after the girls bedtime. Once everyone was asleep the hubby and I got started on our Christmas Eve duties.

Christmas Morning

Lily woke up a bit before 6:00 and woke up her sisters in the process. They were in no way interested in going back to bed. The girls excitedly unstuffed their stockings and unwrapped presents. After a break to eat breakfast the girls were back at playing with their new toys and making a mess. We also were able to Facetime with Jonathan’s parents, brothers, and sister-in-law. Grandma Kapaldo opened her presents so the girls could watch. Technology is pretty awesome.

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Christmas Day

After getting ready for the day we headed over to Nonna and Papa’s house to exchange gifts and have dinner. The girls were blessed with more toys and had lots more to play with.

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One of my family’s traditions is to draw names and give a homemade gift rather than a purchased gift. We’ve been doing this for a few decades now and it is one of my favorite traditions. Jonathan drew my brother-in-law’s name while I drew my brother’s name. We decided to work together and sew both of them new pajamas. My sister drew my name and painted a really neat box that spins and happens to have some of my favorite pictures of the girls from the past year. My sister-in-law, Dawn, drew Jonathan’s name. It is safe to say that whoever gets a handmade present from Dawn is not disappointed. We actually still don’t know what she made, all we know is that it will take some planning to get it here from New Jersey.

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My sister Laura made from-scratch macaroni and cheese as well as a huge lasagna. Mom made a yummy ham. For dessert we had Christmas cookies.

We had another great Christmas and will hold onto the memories we made as time goes by.