Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wrapping up the Month of March

March definitely came in like a lion and is going out like a lamb. We had lots to do though, rain or shine, and enjoyed the company of many fun people. Here are some of the things we did this month:

I joined my ward's craft group and had my first experience trying to sew something whilst surrounded by tired, hungry, and crazy children! It wasn't so bad though and Brooklyn was a real champ about it. I have a few more finishing touches to complete on the pillowcase dresses we were making, but when I'm done I'll post some good pictures.

Our ward also threw a giant Chili Cook-Off/Young Women's Service Auction. Because Kevin and I knew that there would be plenty of free chili and loads of fun people, we packed up the girls and went.

Brooklyn didn't waste any time finding her preschool friends so she could play. They spent most of the evening coloring pictures of Kevin with horns and giggling about it. :)

Here we are enjoying the free grub. A genius on the planning committee even thought to add a kids table that was loaded with chicken nuggets and apple sauce! Best idea ever!

This is only the first sampling I brought back to the table! I think I went back 2 more times... but Kevin still had me beat! (And yes. We both gained 3 pounds that night.)

We were even lucky enough to convince Lucy, Kevin's good friend from work, to come with us. She, of course, spent most of the evening entertaining my girls who absolutely adore her.

Lucy, in turn, brought her boyfriend Jason, who also made a good dent in the chili and took several turns carting Lily around the cultural hall. It was a really fun night and we were glad to spend it in such great company.

Another thing we did this month was start our garden! For the last 5 years Kevin and I have tried (unsuccessfully) to grow our own food. Because we could REALLY use the extra help this year, we started with a prayer and some crossed fingers and Brooklyn has total faith that we'll be able to keep our plants alive this year. She loved helping us plant the tiny seeds and asks to check them out every day... just in case!

While we were busy planting, Lily was busy practicing her walking skills. She's been toying with the whole thing since she was 11 months, but with Brooklyn frequently tackling her mid-stride, she kind of chickened out until now.

Anyway, we are now anxiously awaiting the sprouting of our vegetable garden so we can move the plants outdoors where Kevin is building a Square Foot Garden on our porch. We don't really know if we are allowed to do that, but figured it is better to ask for forgiveness then permission in this case! :) Wish us luck!

Oh yeah! And just in case you wanted a little more B & L in this post, I'm leaving you with some random videos I took of the girls yesterday. Enjoy!

A Conversation with Lily

Lily's New Trick

(For anyone who doesn't know, piko is the Hawaiian word for bellybutton.)

A Conversation with Brooklyn

(Don't worry, I made her wash her hands after this!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 2011

Due to our winter melancholy, I decided that my little family should fully celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year in hopes of pulling us away from our winter blues and into a happier fun-filled spring! So to start off the day, the girls woke up to green milk and the task of finding our mischievous leprechaun's treasure. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of our green breakfast because we were too hungry to strike a pose.

Anyway, the day before, Brooklyn and I put together these adorable shamrocks to decorate our house. She was totally able to do most of the work by herself and had a blast helping me. They turned out really cute too and were completely FREE!

Here she is sitting under our completed project with another FREE project I downloaded from a blog called eighteen 25.

The frame was just something we had laying around and the subway art is just printed on a regular old piece of paper. So fast and EASY!

We also attempted to make a 3D Shamrock that we found from this blog, but after a few crooked cuts, we ended up with our own creation. It looked pretty cute though. The frame was just something we had in a junk pile. Its a little scratched up, but does the job nicely.

But on the actual St. Patrick's Day, Brooklyn and I got together during Lily's nap and made some super cute "LUCKY" blocks that I saw on my friend's blog. I just cut up an old 2x4 we had laying around and Brooklyn did all the painting completely by herself. I was so proud of how well she did. She didn't even miss any spots!

Here is the finished project. They're not perfect, but for a random holiday, they will do just fine!

When Lily got up from her nap, we all went outside to play in the warm weather.

Lily practiced walking and had a blast rolling around in the mud, while Brooklyn colored with sidewalk chalk and played a little hopscotch.

After we were done outside the girls desperately needed a bath and a nap, so we took care of that in a JIFFY in hopes that they would wake up in good moods to find the leprechaun's treasure!

When the time came, Lily wouldn't wake up for the hunt, so I peeled Brooklyn out of bed and off we went. You can tell in the video that she is SUPER tired cause she literally just woke up. Also, the video is kind of long (about 4 minutes) so you really don't have to watch it. We just thought it would be good to document the occasion.

Here are the girls enjoying their rewards after the hunt! A treasure chest full of gold and silver wrapped candy, the movie Ferngully for Brooklyn, a ringing frog for Lily, and some green fingernail polish for them to share. (You can kind of tell in the pictures that their mouths are both LOADED with chocolate!)

And just for fun: Here is a picture of Brooklyn and Lily last St. Patrick's Day...

And here is one of them from this year! My how they have grown. Anyway, we had a great day and hope that you did too! Go GREEN!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A little bit of This and That...

Living in a house loaded with girls, we often get to take fun pictures like this:

Yesterday was no exception. A good friend of ours dropped off a bunch of clothes for Brooklyn the other day, and in the bags were a few gymnastics outfits and a ballet outfit. You'd think Brooklyn won a trip to Disneyland when she discovered the bonus clothing!

After she dressed herself up, Brooklyn quickly covered Lily in the latest tutu-fashion and then they both spent the rest of the day dressed like ballerinas... even when we had to go to the church for a Young Women's activity! We just couldn't convince them that pants were better suited for the cold weather. :)

Speaking of Young Women's activities... This picture is for you Dad! I know you got me that guitar almost 10 years ago and I've never touched it, so I wanted to show you some proof that I am finally starting to learn how to play, and I'm enjoying it too! So, THANK YOU for thinking and acting in advance. :)

Oh yeah! And just to be random, here are some cute shots of Lily. We've been told by many people that she looks like this dinosaur, so for fun, I put them side by side.

Also, Lily has taken to sitting sumo style lately and I thought this picture with her belly hanging out was hilarious and definitely blog worthy.

And now for the Grandparents: Lily is finally starting to experiment with walking so we decided to get it on video for you. You'll have to excuse her outfit (Kevin sometimes picks interesting combos for the girls) and her hair. The video was taken Saturday morning and no one had their hair done yet. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Silver Lining...

As many of you know, Kevin and I don't exactly "love" living in Chicago. Its really expensive to live here, plus, its far away from our family and friends, lacking in appropriate places to have family parties, lacking in anything that would be considered friendly for the outdoors man, (i.e. camping, rock climbing, hiking, etc.) and its COLD!

That being said, there is a silver lining. Chicago is SUPER COLD in the winter, but SUPER COLD WEATHER produces SUPER BEAUTIFUL ice art!

2 years ago when we were living at a different complex, I took these pictures on a walk with Brooklyn. There were water fountains all over the property, and they all looked like this.

Here's a shot of the whole fountain. Isn't it incredible to see that big mass of ice surrounded by green grass?! The weather really is strange here.

(Click on the pictures for a better view of the icicles)

Yesterday, we woke up to another wonderful ice surprise. The night before we had major thunderstorms rolling through, and as the weather cooled throughout the night, the rain started to freeze to EVERYTHING!

It was a bit of a hassle to get into our car that morning. We basically had to rip the doors open, and then the ice scraper wouldn't work, so we ended up having to pour hot water on the windows while simultaneously squeegeeing it off before it refroze!

But, obviously, our frozen car wasn't what I was happy about. The fun part was the trees! All the branches had tiny icicles covering them and they looked like they were sprouting sparkly leaves!

The other cool thing about the trees was that whenever the wind blew, they sounded like wind chimes as the icicles clicked together.

Anyway, Chicago may not be the perfect place to live, but it sure does have its perks. Its not everyday that you get to see Heavenly Father's ice sculptures in your own front yard!