Monday, February 28, 2011

February Art

No school February 1 & 3 --- SNOW DAYS!

Drew decorated his bag for collecting Valentine's with A LOT of stickers. The other side was halfway covered as well.

"I know you miss me when I'm away,
So I made this hug for you today!
This special hug from me to you
Will give you hugs all day through!"

Valentine door hanger made at his class Valentine's party.

A bag full of kisses
Drew cut (some of) the hearts and kissed each one with a rubber stamp.
(click on the photo to enlarge to read the poem)

Happy President's Day!
Drew cut out the circle and glued on George.

Mrs. Bland read a story today about the animals waking up from their long winter's nap. When they woke up, they saw a small flower peeking up through the snow. Drew cut the snowflakes, and glued everything on.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Picture of the Day, Week 8

Sunday {2.20.11}
The boys spend time in the church nursery during Sunday morning worship. Drew is old enough now to go to Children's Church, but for the moment, he prefers being with Chris in the nursery. He's finally willing to stay without crying, so there's no need to push any changes to his routine.

Monday {2.21.11}
Grammy & Papa arrived yesterday and stayed through Thursday. Our time was spent playing games with Papa and snuggling with Grammy.

Tuesday {2.22.11}
Reed is getting more and more difficult to keep in the cart while shopping. Thankfully, the toy aisle in Kohls made it out relatively unscathed.

Wednesday {2.23.11}
My parents showed us their goodies and photos from their ProBowl weekend spent in Hawaii. These two goofballs were having a jolly good time in these hats!

Thursday {2.24.11}
And among those ProBowl pics were some of this stud. My dad took them just for me. I heart Peyton Manning. He's so dreamy. (And yes, Brad's totally aware. I think he's the one that set us up...)

Friday {2.25.11}
Disney is a regular part of our morning routine. Reed's favorite: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Drew's *new* favorite: Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Brad's and my favorite: Imagination Movers.

Saturday {2.26.11}
During my usual blog hopping today, I found this at Funky Polkadot Giraffe via Tatertots & Jello. I printed it right away. It just oozes creative inspiration for me. And it just made me really really happy. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Grandparents are Exhausting

My parents left this morning after being here since Sunday afternoon.

After Reed and I dropped off Drew at school, Reed had a bit of a meltdown. I think he wanted to stay with Drew. He brought me his coat and hat so we could go back.

And then he crashed.

Grandparents are exhausting!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Picture of the Day, Week 7

Sunday {2.13.11}
Brad and I went on our Valentine's date tonight...well, kind of. We took a group from church to the Rock and Worship Roadshow in Bloomington, featuring Mercy Me (pictured), Jars of Clay, and others. It's been a loooooong time since I've been to a concert. It was pretty sweet.

Monday {2.14.11}
My sweetest little Valentine's.
(See more photos here.)

Tuesday {2.15.11}
Brad spent seven hours this afternoon/evening up at the hospital visiting sweet Ella. Ella is four, and on January 26 she had open-heart surgery to fix some major defects she has had since birth. Brad has visited her weekly, and when he arrived today, Ella's mom had to leave to go pick up her son, who was sick. Ella's big brother wasn't scheduled to arrive until 10:00 (when he'd be taking over the night shift) so Brad stayed for the remainder so she wouldn't have to be alone. I think Brad has a sweet spot for this darling girl. :)
(No picture to protect Ella's privacy.)

Wednesday {2.16.11}
When Luci wasn't perched under this tree keeping watch, she was flying back and forth through the yard chasing the squirrel that was toying with her. She was out there for an hour and a half. An hour and a half! She doesn't even spend this much time outside in an entire day!

Thursday {2.17.11}
This is Jairo. We've sponsored him through Compassion International for about six years. This week we received an updated photo of him, which is on our fridge. We also put smaller pictures of Jairo in each of the boys' rooms, so that they can ask questions about him, learn about him, and pray for him.

Friday {2.18.11}
Early baths and snuggled on the couch, ready for Friday Night Movie Night. Tonight's pick: Bolt. Drew watched the whole thing; Reed stayed on the couch for about 20 minutes.

Saturday {2.19.11}
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Never underestimate the power of observation.
I looked over to find Reed trying to plug in this old school Whac-A-Mole game into the cable box. Huh. Might be a hint that we play video games just a bit too much around here...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Look Who's Talking!

Reed had his three-month speech re-evaluation yesterday. Sarah, the same speech therapist that evaluated him in October, returned to our home to observe Reed and evaluate his current language level.

In the end, I was told that Reed is really smart. :) Really, I was. He scores above his age level on many of the categories. In a few other categories, he's just exactly where he should be for 23 months.

However, I was also told he is still in the 35-40% range of delay for his expressive speech.

In the last three months, Reed's vocabulary has increased. At his initial eval, he was saying about five words; maybe three of those he was using consistently. Now he'll say any number of words...yeah, yes, yay, no, go, uh-oh, whoa, wow, ow, bob, papa, pop, up, cheese and please (which both sound like "ease"), Elmo (which is "Melmo"), quack, moo, and of course Mama, Daddy, and Bubba (for Drew).

So while that is a definite improvement, he still does not use these words conversationally, or to name an object. He'll call Mama, Daddy and Elmo all by name, but that's it. He can repeat many words (like "Drew" and "Reed" and others) but he does not then repeat them on his own.

At 2 years, he should be using about 50 words consistently.

{Oh, Reed began using his very first two word phrase just over a month ago. Is it "Yes, Mama"? Nope. "Love you"? Nope. While tapping his chest, he says "NO MINE!" Oh yeah. It's awesome.}

Sarah also said that it appears as though Reed might have low muscle tone in his tongue, cheeks, and/or jaw, which could be affecting his physical ability to form words. Reed has a tendency to let his tongue stick out of his mouth when he's concentrating on something (puzzle, books, or when he's just really into a toy) and that tends to be a sign of such muscle weakness. We've noticed this before and Sarah observed it while she was here.

The jist is that he's a smart kid. He just can't talk yet.

So...weekly speech therapy it is!

Our service coordinator has made arrangements for a therapist to come to our home on Thursdays from 12:30-1:30. It's a very play-oriented kind of therapy, which will include building of his vocabulary, object recognition, and exercises to strengthen those lips. :)

It won't be long, folks, and this kid will be talking a blue-streak!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gettin' Crafty

All right, so I don't normally do this -- share what I've made -- but I've just gotta, partly because I find these things pretty cute, partly because it's appropriate to the season, and partly because Brad gives me an "oh nice" when I show him what I've created and, quite frankly, I need more. ;)

Just being honest, people.

If you haven't caught on to some of my other posts, I do a lot of blog hopping and let me tell you...there's a world of inspiration out there! Like, a lot, people. A lot. Too much, actually. It's really a shame that my body requires sleep, cuz I could do a lot of crafting if it weren't for those eight hours I need. (Did I just say eight hours? Huh. I guess my body doesn't need eight because I can't tell you the last time I actually got eight...)

So, for the love of sharing, and of all things crafty, here goes!

My first, and most favorite, Valentine's decor item. Isn't it beautiful?!?! I saw it here on The Idea Room. I lost all feeling in my thumbs from pushing in all those pins, but golly, it was totally worth it! :)

I was inspired by Just a Girl's framed red heart and then created my own with a heart template, red jewelry beads, cardstock and spray adhesive. The frame is new, and I plan to make more seasonal specific decor to rotate through. The small vases were found in Target's dollar spot and I topped them off with a few floral stems.

There is a ton of free printable art that designers provide on their blogs. I printed just a few for this year: the subway art is from the girls at Eighteen25, and the red hearts print is from Less Cake More Frosting. The frames I had, and again, will rotate through more free printables specific to the season/holiday.

I made this Valentine's tree after I saw this one via Skip to My Lou. Cheapest decor ever, and fun to make.

I also tried making these, but it was a disaster. And super time-consuming. Maybe I'll attempt it again when I have more time on my hands. (HA!)

I've also tucked away a few ideas for next year. :)


I'm a big fan of Ali Edwards. She's brilliant. Her style, her designs, her insight, her talent. It's all good. Great, actually. Anyway, I saw this Valentine's mini-album idea here on her blog, and I did my best to replicate it. I knew I didn't have the same supplies or tools at my disposal, so I used what I had on hand. {Of note: I bought nothing new to make this. I had it all in my stash.}

"Be Mine" Mini Album/Valentine's Day Card for My Three Boys!
You can buy many different kinds of actual albums to make these sorts of cute books, but I had seen in an idea book (I don't remember which one) how to use household items to create your own. So this little beauty is made from CDs. Pretty cool, huh? I cut my paper to size, and adhered it with spray adhesive. The CDs are bound together using a jump ring.

The first page: my three boys.

Each of my boys have their own page, where I wrote down some of the things I love about them.
I used some of the pictures from our at-home photo shoot.

I really want to work on more little albums like these. I would love to have a basket in our living room filled to the brim with these little beauties, for all of us to grab to thumb through and enjoy. They just make me really happy. :)


And although these are not Valentine's themed, this is some of what I worked on at the 14-hour scrapbook crop I was at on Saturday. Again...if I didn't need sleep...

(None of these are complete yet...still need to add a little bling here and there.) :)

Thanks for indulging me. I appreciate it! :)

( many smileys in this post...this stuff really does make me happy.)


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Picture of the Day, Week 6

Sunday {2.6.11}
Brad: "Rubber gloves on the farm can only mean one thing...the vet's in town!"

Monday {2.7.11}
Drew & Reed got a subscription to High Five magazine from Grammy & Papa for their birthdays, and with the first issue came this free 2011 calendar. It's filled with hidden picture puzzles and Drew just loves doing them. He's good at it when he actually tries, but often times asks for hints or clues or for Mom and Dad to just find it instead. :)

Tuesday {2.8.11}
Drew loves apples. He needs one in each hand, he loves them so much.

Wednesday {2.9.11}
I L.O.V.E. bags. Handbags, purses, totes, reusable shopping bags - you name it, I love it. I'm a bag lady. This is one of two hooks in our spare closet, loaded with my bags - the bag on the right is my most recent purchase. [Thanks for the Christmas money, Mom & Dad!]

Thursday {2.10.11}
Drew's Valentine's Party at preschool was today. You can read about it here. What's more important about this photo is that that's Gage right there by Drew. Drew tells me "We're buddies." I say Best Buddies. It's been so great seeing Drew be social and begin to cultivate friendships. These two are quite the pair!

Friday {2.11.11}
My hair has decided to protest all attempts at frugality. I, once again, require Nioxin's Scalp Therapy for my hair. Retail cost is upwards of $35 per bottle. Thank the good Lord for Amazon! (And thankfully those other four bottles in the shower cost me less than $2 total!)

Saturday {2.12.11}
The boys had a Boys Day today as I was able to escape the house to attend a 14-hour scrapbook crop with my cousin. Their adventures included games, movies, drawing pictures, reading, playing, and XBox, of course! Drew told me it was a Jammie Day (this pic was taken at 5:30pm) but Brad was kind enough to change the boys into clean jammies when they went to bed. :)