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Our Awesome Thanksgiving 2012

We had such a great Thanksgiving this year and I’m so pleased it went so smoothly.  I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time this year and it was awesome!  I spent a week cleaning the house from top to bottom with the help of my dad and wanted to have a nice, traditional Thanksgiving.  I got out the nice china and bought some new tablecloths and napkins and got the tables set and looking pretty.


My grandparents ordered a Greenberg turkey and for those of you who don’t know what that is, check it out and just know that it is the best tasting turkey on Earth!!  I had to sample it after my dad carved it and my whole childhood came flooding back!  We used to get these all the time when I was a kid and they are delicious!

So I didn’t have to worry about the turkey and I actually got my pea salad and pasta salad made the day before so that morning I only had to make my sweet potato casserole and whip up my spinach dip while my dad made the Hash Brown potato casserole.  Everything was ready early that morning, so that when we got word that my sister, brother-in-law and nieces were almost there, we could just put everything in the oven to warm through.

I was so blessed  to have such a great Thanksgiving and have my whole family there.  Both of my sets of grandparents were there, my parents, my uncle and my sister, brother-in-law and nieces.

This picture warms my heart…all of my grandparents getting together for Thanksgiving.

I also loved seeing all of the cousins together!!  They had a great time….not eating that is.  None of the kids really ate much.  They were too busy having fun.  🙂

Then on Friday we went to White Rock Lake to feed the ducks, which is beginning to be a Thanksgiving tradition.  We took them all to feed the ducks last year and again this year.  It was fun to see them get so excited to feed the ducks, although I was freaking out the whole time, afraid one of them was going to fall in the lake.

There was a park just a short drive around the lake so since we went through our bread so fast, we decided to let them play on the playground for a while.  Cheyenne found this little bridge and she decided to crawl on the wall.  Goofy girl!

Cheyenne thought she was so cool and had so much fun pushing her big brother, Devon on the swing.

After some lunch, we attempted to go to an event that I had heard about but it ended up being a bust and wasn’t as great as it was last year and so we ended up leaving and meeting my parents for dinner.  Cheyenne taught her littlest cousin Zoe how do to funny faces.  They were hilarious.  They would make the funny faces and then bust out laughing at each other.  It was so cute and I sure wish they lived closer.  At least they are only about 3 hours away so we get to see them several times each year, but I sure wish they lived here so we could see them and hang out more often.  These girls have so much fun together and though all 4 of them are between the ages of 2 and 4, they all get along so well and play  together wonderfully!

I’m so glad that we had such a wonderful Thanksgiving with our entire family and I can’t wait to do it again next year!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!!


Shaving Cream Painting Placemat

Today I had the brilliant idea to combine a couple of different crafts that I have seen floating around on Pinterest and modify them a bit.  I have seen Shaving Cream Painting all over the internet and have been hesitant to try it, not because I am a neat freak, if you know me, you know that is not true, but because it seems like such a big mess and can get all over the place.  Well, I put my fears aside today and decided to let Cheyenne try it.

I have also seen placemats made from contact paper and leaves or whatever between the two sheets of contact paper.

I decided I was going to combine the two and voila….Shaving cream painting placemats!!

I got all of our supplies out:

All you need is a can of shaving cream, paint (we used red, yellow an orange), a large baking sheet or container (not pictured), paper or pictures, straight edged instrument (we used a ruler)

I had printed off some templates of different shaped leaves earlier in the day.

I covered the baking sheet in shaving cream and dripped the paint all over the surface of it.

Then I took a paintbrush and just lightly swirled the colors around in the shaving cream, but not too much or the colors will start to blend and you won’t get the marbled look.

Then we laid our paper on the shaving cream and gently pressed down and sort of rubbed around the paper with our hands.

Then I took the paper off and starting at one end, scraped the ruler across the paper to get all of the shaving cream off.  It left a beautiful marbled paper!  Doesn’t it look pretty??  🙂

I did notice that after the first page, the marbling effect went away and it was just mixed colors.  I didn’t have any more paint, as we used the last of it setting this up. Next time, I may have to try adding more paint between pages if we do more than one.

Then I decided to put my fears aside and let her play with the shaving cream since she had been wanting to touch it and play with it the whole time.

She had a blast!!


So while she was playing, I set the papers aside to dry.  After her nap, I cut the shapes out and then we made her placemat.

I didn’t get any pics of the actual making of the placemat, because I suddenly had a great idea to make a border and completely forgot to take pictures.

What we did was cut 2 sheets of wax paper to the size we wanted the placemat to be.  We plugged our iron in to heat up.  Then we placed the leaf shapes on one piece of wax paper and placed the second piece on top of it.  I decided to make a little border around it, so I cut some strips out of brown construction paper and had to do a little patching and gluing to make it the right size, but made a little brown border to go around the edge of the placemat.  Then I placed that on the bottom piece of wax paper and then placed the second piece on top.  Then I took the iron and ironed over the placemat very slowly to heat up the wax paper and let it fuse together.

While I did the ironing, Cheyenne went for a walk with my dad and collected some pecans, so she wasn’t around.  Make sure the ironing is a mom-only job!  Little ones can get burned so easily.  When Cheyenne came back from her walk, she was so pleased to see her placemat! She thought it was so cool and loved that she made it, except for the ironing.

My dad thought it was neat what we were going to do, so when he and Cheyenne went for their walk, they also collected some leaves and he made one with the leaves they collected!!  It turned out pretty cute too!

We are loving fall around here and today a cold front finally came through to give us more fall-like weather.  It has been in the mid to upper 80’s here in Texas, yes, even in November.  But today a cold front came through and it is in the 50s now!  I love fall, because I hate winter.  I am not a fan of cold.  I can handle upper 50s to about mid 80s so we have a very short time each year that I am completely happy! 🙂

I hope you all get a chance to try this!  Let me know how it goes for you.

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Pumpkin Pie Play Dough

I have to admit, fall is probably my favorite season…at least right now.  Spring and Fall are pretty much tied in my mind. I love them both equally…summer is too hot, especially here in Texas. Winter is too cold for my liking, even though it’s nothing compared to the winters up north. But I love fall and I’m so glad it is here!  We are finally starting to experience some fall-like temps after our almost 90* week last week. This week it is in the 70s and I love it!!

Now that it seems that fall may finally be here…better late than never….I decided we needed to make some Pumpkin Pie Play Dough.  I found this simple recipe at 2 Big 2 Little.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup water
red and yellow food coloring (unless you can find orange…I couldn’t)

Once you have all of your ingredients ready, get a medium pot and add all ingredients except for the water and food coloring.  Add your food coloring to the water until you have the desired shade, but note it will be darker than what the water looks like.  Ours was a pretty orange and I was actually afraid it was going to be too bright orange, because I actually wanted a little darker, spicier look and luckily that’s exactly how it turned out.  Once you have colored your water, pour it into your pot and mix everything very well.

Stir over medium heat approximately 4-5 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball in the center of the pot.

Remove from the pot onto your counter or cutting board and let cool.  It will be very hot…believe me.  🙂

Once it is cool, knead it for a little bit until soft and smooth.  I probably kneaded longer than necessary because I love play dough and warm pumpkin pie scented play dough is just like a little slice of Heaven.  🙂

Of course, I couldn’t have all the fun. Cheyenne had to get in on the kneading fun because she loves to help!  I think she really just wanted me to leave it alone so she could play with it.  Then she took it in to her table and got some cookie cutters and went to town playing with her new play dough.

This was so fun!  Since the first time we made play dough, I have loved it!  Cheyenne loves to play with play dough and we love making it.  It lasts so much longer than store bought (as long as it is picked up) and is safer in the even a wee one decides to put it in their mouth, plus you can color and scent your play dough however you want.  There are so many ways to make, color, and scent play dough along with many additives that can be added and so many endless ways to play with it.  Can you tell we love play dough??

I hope you get a chance to make this wonderful play dough.  My hands smelled so good after making this that I didn’t want to wash my hands.  But of course, I did.

Let me know if you make this and how your little ones like it!  Welcome fall!!  Better late than never….




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Paper Tube Turkey

I’ve seen so many cute crafts for Thanksgiving and today I decided to let Cheyenne make a Paper Tube Turkey after she got home from Mother’s Day Out.

I gathered all the supplies:  Paper plate, toilet paper tube, 2 googly eyes, paints (we used brown, orange, red and yellow), glue and scissors.

First, Cheyenne painted the tube brown for the body of her turkey.  I was pleasantly surprised by how well she did.  I was expecting paint all over the place and just patches of paint on the tube, but she did a great job all by herself.  I just had to smooth out a couple of spots where she got the paint a little thick.

Then we had to take a break because it was time for me to fix dinner and our turkey body needed to dry.

After our delicious dinner of Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, Parmesan Roasted Green Beans, and hushpuppies, we cleared the table and got back to work.

When we got back to work, I cut the paper plate in half and set out some red, yellow and orange paint.  She painted the paper plate a beautiful medley of red, yellow and orange.

I put two dots of glue on our dried turkey body and Cheyenne put the googly eyes on.

Then I put some glue on the back of the turkey body and down the center of the paper plate and Cheyenne glued the body to the feathers.  I think it turned out pretty cute and she is so proud of her turkey craft.  Cheyenne is really getting into crafts now and she is getting better at it and better at doing specific tasks for each project.

Let me know if you get a chance to do this cute craft and how your little one enjoyed it.

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Handprint Turkey

I was terrible last month and out of all the Fall and Halloween crafts I saw and wanted to do with Cheyenne, we only did a couple.  So I decided that this month, we are going to start early and do some throughout the month.  I LOVE handprint and footprint art because I think it’s a great way to remember how big your kids are at different stages and it’s something tangible that you can have and see.  With that being said, I decided to let Cheyenne do a handprint turkey yesterday.

I gathered the supplies needed:

white paper, colored construction paper, paints (we used brown, red, blue, orange, green and yellow), a googly eye and orange and red markers.

I painted the palm of her hand brown and each finger a different color, but didn’t get a picture of that as I was too busy trying to get her hand printed before the paint dried.

I glued a googly eye on the thumb and used the orange marker to draw a beak and some feet. I used the red marker to draw a wattle on our little turkey.

Then I cut down the white paper and mounted it on a piece of brown construction paper. I had to cut it kind of funny, because Cheyenne decided to paint on part of the white paper. She loves art and loves to draw and paint and does whenever she gets the chance.

Cheyenne had a great time doing this craft and she is so proud of her turkey.  I think it turned out pretty cute.

I hope you get a chance to make one with your little turkey.  I love comments so let me know what you think and if you get a chance to do this fun craft.

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Halloween Week

We took a break from the Letter of the Week to do some Halloween themed activities.  Cheyenne has yet another cold, so we took it easy this week, but she had fun doing some of the Halloween activities.

I found this cute Halloween Pack from 3 Dinosaurs.  It is huge and we didn’t get to do all of it, but we did get several things done.  This is a huge pack and has tons of fun Halloween activities.  I have just recently discovered this site and I love it.  It has definitely become one of my favorites for finding preschool lessons and activities.  I will be adding a lot of their printables to our weekly lessons. All of the printables this week are from their Halloween pack linked above.

She started out by doing some pre-writing pages from 3 Dinosaurs.

Shadow Matching:  She loved matching the shadows to the pictures and did a really good job.

There are several dot paint pages in this pack so she was in dot paint heaven!!  This is the only one I got a picture of, but she did several.

Cheyenne loves pretend play and is doing it so much more often now.  She loves to be a little mommy and I just couldn’t resist snapping this picture of her putting her babies down for a nap. I love how careful she was and how she took her time covering them up just right and getting them all comfy.  🙂  What a sweet little girl!!  🙂

She is getting more into mazes, so I love finding alphabet mazes for her to do.  She also does some each week that follow a certain letter through the maze to the end.

She’s really good at matching and she did great at this Halloween Matching page.

Number matching puzzles are always a hit and I’m glad this pack had one!  She loves counting the pictures and matching up the number with it.

Then came Halloween night and my little Minnie Mouse was so cute.  You can read about our Halloween fun here.

Clip cards are a huge hit as well.  She loves clipping the clothespins on the letters.  She does such a good job telling me the picture, sounding it out and telling the what letter the word starts with.  I laminated these for better durability like I do most of the printables so they can also be used again.

We had lots of fun this week, despite Cheyenne being sick with another cold. She had a couple of days where she just wasn’t feeling school and didn’t really want to do anything but play.   I don’t force her to do preschool if she doesn’t want to because I want her to enjoy it, not feel like it is a chore.  She really enjoys doing preschool and often times comes to me and asks “Mommy, can we go do some preschool?”  Now how can you turn that down?  So usually I will go ahead and go back to her room and we will work on some stuff for as long as she wants. Sometimes it’s only 5 minutes, other times she will sit down and do several activities over 3o minutes or an hour.

I hope everyone had a great Halloween week!  We’ll be doing Letter E next week and will start working in some Thanksgiving and Fall activities as well.

I love comments, so please let me know what you think or share some of your activities for the upcoming Fall/Thanksgiving season.

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Halloween 2012

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!  Cheyenne had a blast this year.  She is 3 and had a lot more fun this year and was so polite.  I am so blessed to have such a polite little girl.  I guess I’ve done something right.  🙂  She has always been one to say please and thank you, bless you, and the like.  So when people would answer the door, she would say “Trick or Treat!” and if they asked how she was doing, she would say “I’m fine, thank you.”  Then after she got candy, she would say “Thank you.”  Such a sweet little girl.  I’m so proud!

Anyway, Cheyenne was Minnie Mouse and was absolutely adorable!

She loves to pose and I seriously wonder if I have a little future model on my hands here.

We started off our evening by going to the fall festival at our church and played some games, got some candy and jumped in the bounce house.  They also had a setup in the back of a truck for photo opportunities and it was so cute.

After the festival, we went back home so Cheyenne could go trick or treating in our neighborhood.  This was the first year that she showed a fear of masks.  While we were trick or treating, she saw a few people with masks on (Frankenstein, Jason, several monsters, etc.) and got really scared.  She would be walking ahead of me and see one and she would turn and run back to me and hide behind me.  She went to one house and they answered the door with a Jason mask on and she wouldn’t even go near the porch.  She ran and hid behind me and gave me her basket and said “get it for me”.  She would tell me “I don’t like the bad masks.  They make me afraid.” So I had to explain that they are just pretend, just dressing up for Halloween and it’s nothing to be afraid of.

Then we went over to Cheyenne’s great grandparents’ (my grandparents) house to visit and let them see her costume and finally after no dinner and probably too much candy, even though I cut her off pretty quick, we came home and went to bed.  I feel like such a terrible mom not feeding her dinner, but they were having hot dogs at the festival, and she didn’t want to eat, which makes sense this morning because she has yet another cold.  She doesn’t want to eat breakfast either, but she really doesn’t eat much when she gets her colds.  At least she got to have a fun Halloween before it really hit her!!

I hope you all had a great Halloween!! What fun things did you do on Halloween??