Pumpkin Painting 2016

pumpkinpainting2016-2Each year we paint our pumpkins. I’m not a huge fan of carving pumpkins and I’d much rather  clean up paint than pumpkin “guts” haha. So we paint! I started this when Chase was 2, and it’s been a hit ever since!pumpkinpainting2016-3pumpkinpainting2016-1-2pumpkinpainting2016-1pumpkinpainting2016-18pumpkinpainting2016-15pumpkinpainting2016-16Cutie pumpkinpainting2016-14

Concentrating :) Shailo made many things on his pumpkin including an A. pumpkinpainting2016-9pumpkinpainting2016-10pumpkinpainting2016-11Ever chose many shades of pink, some purple, teal and gold. On her own – that’s my girl ;) pumpkinpainting2016-17

Chase did a dragon breathing fire. pumpkinpainting2016-7pumpkinpainting2016-6Love these crazy, fun kids!

Past pumpkin fun that I’ve shared here:

“Punkin” painting 2011

Pumpkin Painting 2012

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Pumpkin Patch 2016

This year we ventured to Canon City, Colorado to Diana’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch. It was worth the drive and really reasonable compared to other pumpkin patches around! I recommend it!fall2016_pumpkinpatch-1fall2016_pumpkinpatch-2fall2016_pumpkinpatch-3fall2016_pumpkinpatch-12fall2016_pumpkinpatch-7Searching for their “perfect” pumpkins. fall2016_pumpkinpatch-9fall2016_pumpkinpatch-8fall2016_pumpkinpatch-5

fall2016_pumpkinpatch-11fall2016_pumpkinpatch-14Above: I found my perfect pumpkins :) fall2016_pumpkinpatch-18

Our littlest “pumpkin” – okay, okay I’ll stop with the fall references ;) fallkids2016-1-2

Ted strongly suggested that I got in the picture. I really dislike being in front of the camera anymore. But I knew for the kids sake and the fact that we can now look back years later and have THIS amazing gem, it would be worth it! I honestly almost didn’t share this image because this momma isn’t as tiny as she used to be. My biggest yet, but it is where I’m at and I know I won’t be here forever. Thankful for this little one growing inside!

Ted took all of the above photos with our Canon and I edited them. Below are iphone photos.

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“Mommy, where are my toes? … There they are!”

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Chaseyboy helping Evey down the biggest slide.

Another fun, HOT trip to the pumpkin patch for the books!

Some “throwbacks” below minus a few years I didn’t blog:

Baby Chase – Harvest Farm 2009

Pregnant with Shailo – “Punkin” patch 2011

Pumpkin Patch 2012

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Apple Orchard + Pumpkin Patch 2015

Apple Orchard + Pumpkin Patch

This year we visited Colon Orchard – an apple Farm. Unfortunately the orchard had a terrible freeze which killed their apple trees so we picked pumpkins and ran through a corn maze instead :) fall2015-19

Everly 1.5, Chase 6, Shailo almost 4. fall2015-2fall2015-1fall2015-1-2fall2015-6fall2015-5fall2015-3-2fall2015-2-2Fall2015-5-2.jpgFall2015-7.jpgfall2015-9fall2015-11fall2015-17fall2015-16fall2015-15fall2015-14ColonOrchard_collage.jpgfall2015-13fall2015-12fall2015-18

One day we will look back and say “Remember that one day when we dressed our kids in flannels and it ended up being 90 degrees…” Oooops! It was still so fun, even though it was a hot one!

Paper Heart Photoshoot – Everly Style

We have a silly, fun “tradition” of sorts each Valentine’s. Since Chase’s first Valentine’s Day we have done a paper heart photo-shoot. And it just became a little fun tradition ever since.  Well, this year, Little Miss Ever joined in :) Be ready to MELT. The beautiful dress she is wearing was made for her by my Grandma, Ev’s “GG-ma”!

IMG_3855EverlyValentinesCollage

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 After our scare with her last week (I have a blog post in the works about it now), these just feel especially special to me. I am so thankful she is doing so much better now!

I couldn’t find any from last year, I’m not sure if we even did it. I was huge pregnant with Ever (she’s 1 in 2 weeks!) so maybe that was why :)valentines_overtheyears (1) Chaseyboy in years past!valentinesdaycollage_overtheyears (1)

Shailo ages 3 months and 15 months.

Just a fun little tradition.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Ever’s First Bath

It was a celebration of sorts the day Little Miss Ever’s umbilical cord stump fell off (eww, right? Yes.) The boys were OH SO EXCITED so we made it kind of a family ordeal.

Though her facial expressions share otherwise, we believed she liked it… ;)

EverlysFirstBath-1EverlysFirstBath_Collage .jpgEverlysFirstBath-8EverlysFirstBath-12She reminds me so much of Chaseyboy here. EverlysFirstBath_Collage4 .jpgEverlysFirstBath-14EverlysFirstBath-9CHEEKS.
EverlysFirstBath-16EverlysFirstBath-15Like I said… family ordeal :)

EverlysFirstBath-2I held her hand for comfort because HELLO …bathing with brothers…EverlysFirstBath-18Tradition post bath photo with momma.

EverlysFirstBath_Collage5 .jpgChaseyboy, Shai and Ever.
EverlysFirstBath-19So relaxed. EverlysFirstBath-20EverlysFirstBath-21EverlysFirstBath_Collage2 .jpgGotta have some shots of the boys, but of course. EverlysFirstBath-25

First bath, Everly approved.

Pre-12 Days of Giving: Thoughts on Santa and the Christmas Spirit.

I am opening a {HUGE} can of worms with this post. I can feel it.

But I sort of want that because I am curious and craving others’ opinions on what I’m about to discuss: The Christmas Spirit and Santa.

I woke early (when I saw early, I mean 4 am early) with an overwhelming feeling in my spirit. The sounds super dramatic, but really I’m inspired. I felt a shift happen inside. It began last year when Chase was 2 and he was more into the holiday. I started feeling convicted and challenged in what kinds of things I am teaching Chase over the Christmas holiday. Now that he is 3 and is more aware of what’s going on around him, he has more questions, wants to be more involved, more imaginative, etc… and, I feel the conviction even more so: What do I want to pour into my kiddos? What do I want them to take away from the Christmas season?

This isn’t meant to be a “bah humbug” post or bash Santa Claus post. In fact, I absolutely love the spirit of Christmas: the life that celebrating Jesus brings, the traditions, the giving, the receiving, the fun music/decor, etc. – And, I actually really enjoy the idea of Santa Claus and the fun and imagination “he” brings. But there is something in my spirit that is really bothered by the ideas I feel that are becoming impressed upon my little 3-year-old’s heart and mind.

Saturday mornings are usually my ‘Thrifted Treasures’ mornings. I drop Ted off at work around 8:45 and then the boys and I head to local thrift stores, mostly just to look and if I stumble upon a treasure, hooray! This past Saturday I decided to venture into an antique mall that I had never yet been to: The Brass Armadillo. When we arrived I saw a sign that said Santa would be there today with free photos and gifts. Chase has never really seen a Santa in person but I thought this could be a fun opportunity. It was actually quite eye opening. I liked the IDEA of Santa and the fun and imagination involved… like Halloween for example, we don’t celebrate evil things and participate in the creepiness of it, however – I do love dressing up my boys and letting them have fun and hanging out with friends in costumes. Pretending and fellowshipin’. When we saw santa, that was kind of where my heart went, “Hmmm…” First, my boys REALLY didn’t like him. Shailo was screaming and Chase kept hidden beside me and saying, “I’m being shy, momma.” But mostly when Santa asked him, “What would you like for Christmas?” I felt just so odd in my spirit. Is this what we wanted for our boys? And the answer is: I’m still just not sure what I think.

The part I don’t like is that it feels like Christmas = Santa = getting gifts or even getting {specific} gifts.

That is the part  that I do not want. I do like the imagination and the fun of Santa and Christmas without the feelings of “I’m owed something” or feeling like he should be given something rather than give something away. These are obviously not solely to blame on Christmastime or believeing there is a Santa. No. But I just wonder if I am teaching him things that aren’t lining up with how I believe and how I would want him to grow. To feel gratitude, to want to give rather than receive, to use his imagination with what he already has, etc.

I struggle because I am beginning to see things begin to rise up in my sweet boy that break my heart and we are currently in the thick of trying to work through these things: expectations and disappointments,  feelings of ungratefulness, unappreciative for the what he has, sometimes demanding, etc.

But how do I help him work through these very things that are taught and portrayed during the Chritmas season? I hope I am making sense. I just feel so torn.

I guess my question isn’t Santa or no Santa? But instead how to implement the true story of Santa with some bits of fun, imaginative ideas AND the true spirit of Christmas: He (Jesus) came so we could live and I want more than anything for my son to know that and to GIVE life and love instead of feeling owed or believing this time of year is for presents alone. My oldest is 3! Shouldn’t I have this decided my now? Well, I haven’t! Haha… Hence this post.

I actually feel they really could go hand in hand. The “real” Santa Claus is derived from a man called St. Nicholas (this is a story I heard growing up, so the facts…it could be so wrong haha) who wanted to bless the poor and needy!! “Santa” is known for his generous spirit but when did it become about {us} being on the receiving end? (Hi, I love giving and receiving gifts so I’m really not bashing gift getting! Just have a hard time when it becomes the main focus). As I am writing this post I feel some things beginning to really resonate within me. I can teach my boys that yes, Santa was real and is real in the spirit of GIVING and also, that Christ came to GIVE life. They really CAN go hand in hand… right?

What kinds of things do you or your family do to inspire the true Christmas spirit? To bring forth things that are good for your kiddos to learn? What kind of traditions do you implement in your Christmas holiday that encourage giving rather than just receiving? What are your thoughts on celebrating Jesus and Santa?

I recently stood in a long line at the Dollar Tree with both my boys in tow.  A second clerk opened up a register and said, “I can take the next person in line!” Before the elderly woman next in line could even react, I watched as a woman from the very back of the line rushed forward and took the spot. Others quickly following. I felt so sad (and shocked) and I watched this happen. Really? You’d take a spot from an elderly woman who had waited her turn in line. I witnessed a very similar thing at Old Navy only a day later and had a moment of “Oh, that’s right. It’s Christmastime.” How sad!

Does anyone feel the spirit of Christmas tends to bring out the most selfish side of people? Even in me personally. I remember last year, my sweet husband went out and bought me gifts he thought I might like. I remember feeling disappointed with him because it wasn’t what’d I asked for. (How’s that for honest? He knew unfortunately.) REALLY Jami?

I’m just so over it. Over the spirit of selfishness that comes along with Christmas. So this morning I had an inspired thought and today, I decided to write on here and make this official and see if there is anyone who would like to join in with me? I decided to start a small blog series to inspire giving and to keep my heart and my kiddos hearts in check.

12 Days of Giving beginning December 1st. This can look however you would want it to! I wrote down ideas of my own and then hopped online for more inspiration early this morning and made a small list. Here are the things we will be doing if you’d want to join us. (Or make your own list. Please let me know if you will be doing this! I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.)

12 Days of Christmas Giving:
1.Bless clerks/servers (that we come across during errands) with Christmas candy and a sweet note
2.Text encouraging message and picture to friends/family who need them
3.Make bird/squirrel feeders and put them out
4.Leave a treat for our mailman
5.Make Christmas/winter wreath for a busy friend
6.Make treats for Ted’s coworkers
7.Take a few friends’ a treat while they are working
8.Make/take Christmas notes and treats to neighbors
9.Leave Christmas treats/notes on carts at a busy store
10.Bless aquarium workers with a candy cane and note of encouragment (we are going to the aquarium that night)
11.Chalk kindness for neighbors/mailman (chalk note on their sidewalk and one in front of the mailbox)
12.Buy and Gift Christmas gifts for a child in need
I am also being SUPER DUPER ambitious (encouraged by my rad hubby who loves when I blog) and going to do 12 days of Crafting alongside of this! I have DIYs coming your way :)
Thanks for reading this ridiculously long blog post and please, please, please comment with your thoughts!

Pumpkin patch {2012}

Before Ted left for Thailand, we made a trip to a nearby Pumpkin Patch:

where Chase picked out our biggest pumpkin,the boys met a turkey face to face for the first time,

Shailo had his first jumpy-house experience,

we survived and completed a .3 mile corn maze ;), giggled like crazy as we each flew down the bouncy slide, took silly photos and just had an all around good time as a family!

Sweet fall memory!

Pumpkin paintin’ {2012}

I am so that momma who prefers the painty mess to the gooey mess of pumpkin carving. The insides of pumpkins just really gross me out and we love to paint here, so what better way than to paint our pumpkins. We started this fun tradition last year and enjoyed it again this year.
This time Shailo was able to join in too! He was more interested in trying to {eat} the pumpkins, but of course.

Chase’s concentrating face cracks me up. :)I went with chevron with mine, shocking I know. ;) It ended up reminding me of Charlie Brown, which I love!

(above photo taken with my iphone)

We ended up having the 4 little pumpkins stolen or taken. I really don’t know what happened to them. No sign whatsoever of where they went. One day I noticed 2 were missing, then one another day and then finally the last of the small pumpkins. Made me think it was maybe an animal? Yeah, no idea! I mean wouldn’t someone have stolen the decor too? Haha!

Chase was super bummed but I told him I thought a squirrel thought they needed them for his home. ;)

 

bits n’ pieces of our fall (via camera phone)

Fun times crafting with “Friend Anthem” :) Egg cartons turned owls.Many Zoo trips this fall. Fall is the PERFECT time to go to the zoo here in Colorado. It’s beautiful and not too hot/cold which means the animals are much more active.
Before Ted left for Thailand, we did our fall family tradition of visiting a pumpkin patch together and picked out our pumpkins. Shailo’s first pumpkin patch experience.
Mid October Ted left for an 18 day trip to Thailand (Blog on that soon) and I was sure to keep the boys and I busy. Almost TOO busy for my introverted spirit. WHEW. But it did make the time pass relatively quickly.
 We visiting another Pumpkin Patch – the one that we’ve taken Chase too every year since he was born. I should dig up those photos and see how much he’s changed! We visited my family in Fort Collins for a bit and spent time soaking up the Fall sun and collecting Fall treasures. At the beginning of the year as we were watching The Incredibles as a family, we thought of how fun and fitting it would be to be The Incredibles this year. Chase as Dash, Shailo was perfect for baby Jack Jack, me as ElastaGirl, Ted as Mr. Incredible and our dear friend Chey as the daughter Voilet. What a fun idea, right? ;)  Unfortunetely Ted’s trip to Thailand ended up falling around the time we would need him to be Mr. Incredible, but we still had a blast! You can’t really tell but Chey and I decided to opt out JUST wearing skin tight red tights and ended up making black tutus to cover our bums ;) Hehe.

I can’t take credit for the felt logo idea. I saw an idea (via pinterest) on a blog called Freshly Completed and went from there. Chase’s outfit was thrifted for $2, amazing! Shailo’s is actually a little red and black sweatsuit we had so I just made his logo much bigger than ours to cover the design on the front. I didn’t own one red t-shirt so I bought mine on clearance at Walmart and the felt is from Hobby Lobby for 4 for a $1 and it didn’t take much at all. The tulle was on sale at the time (Thanks to Halloween) The knee high black boots were borrowed. So all together, these were SUPER reasonably priced DIY costumes!

I watched two sets of twins (same family) during all my high school years and ever since I’ve wanted a set of twins. Until recently I always thought you “had to” have twins or girls to do matchy-matchy. HAHA, this is super ridiculous, I know, but I LOVE dressing them alike. And Chase absolutely loves it too. I don’t do it every day but they now have 5 sets of shirts that match, so at least once a week, expect it ;)
We  did our little “tradition” of making a CARS character out of our car on the first snow of the season. This time Shailo enjoyed it as well.

Thanks for popping by. Fall photos from our actual camera coming soon. :)

a belated Christmas post

This post is waaaaay overdue but I’ve regretted not posting some of our Christmas-y things. I used to be so on top of taking pictures, editing them and posting them almost right away and now… oh wait, I had a baby! ;) But I really don’t want that to become my excuse. You find time to do the very things you love and blogging just happens to be on my list of things that I love! So I really hope to pursue one of my passions again. I miss it so much.

whoa, I digress. Here some photos of our holiday.

This was Chase’s first year helping decorate the tree. He really took tree decorating very seriously ;)

This particular holiday seemed very special and perhaps it is because Chase really joined in with me in decorating and creating. I really, really loved that part. Oh my heart! What joy he brings.

Chase and I’s handywork this year. Simple, beautiful, fun.

 Above left: “Let every heart prepare Him room” banner. Right: our activity advent calendar.

Quite possibly my favourite Christmas tradition, or maybe just my sweet tooth talking ;)…

Sugar (& other) Christmas cookie baking day!  Look at his eyes when he realized I was watching him (above right) ;)

what’s a cookie without sprinkles, sprinkles …

…and more sprinkles?!

This was Chase’s first year to enjoy in this yummy tradition.

Last year we began a tradition of opening jammies Christmas Eve, a tradition passed on from my own family. This year we added a new tradition, our own, of heading to town to see the pretty Christmas lights. Ted and I try to sing Christmas songs and Chase, sweet boy, would cut us off with, “Wonder Pets, Wonder Pets, we’re on our way…” and then wait for us to join in with {him} in finishing the Wonder Pets entire theme song. What a fun memory! :)

Ya know us, we just had to do photoshoot of the jammies before heading to see lights. Oh how I love these photos. So precious!

Little smirks. (I call this his little old man face)

(I just had to post this photo of Shailo’s facial expression when Chase first sat down with him. :) It’s like he’s saying, “Seriously mom and dad, a flashlight for big brother. REALLY?! Ahh! Get him away! “)

This year was especially fun because it was Chase’s first year he thoroughly enjoyed Christmas; the tree, lights, music (particular fond of, well Wonder Pets, but also Away in the Manger – which we changed to say “the little baby Jesus lay down his sweet head” I tried to video him but to no avail ;)) , stories of baby Jesus, presents, etc. He {loved} this year.

Our Christmas photo was another story…

({my handsome boys} opposite colouring as of now. I {love} it!)

Our Christmas photo was a challenge. You might think being married to a photographer, we’d have it set. WRONG. It was horrible. Chase was extremely wound tight, Shailo was fussy and I didn’t feel well at all.  The picture below is one of maybe 2 he actually sat for.

 However, I love the one we ended up with because it’s actually rather candid. I didn’t ask him to kiss his brother, he just did. So cute! 
Ted and I play around with bokeh and the Christmas tree lights. (what we’d hoped to do with our Christmas card but didn’t factor in a crazy-hyper 2 year old BOY! ;))
Christams-y Instagrams
Well, enough talk about Christmas in January. I hope to blog soon with some things that are heavy on my heart. Hope the holidays treated you well and you were able to enter the New Year refreshed and with a sense of hope!